Three Tide Players Lombardi Semifinalists

There are 12 semifinalists for the 2011 Rotary Lombardi Award, given to the nation's top lineman or linebacker, and gthat list includes three members of the Alabama football team.

The 12 seminfinalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award were announced Friday and they included Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower, offensive tackle Barrett Jones, and linebacker Courtney Upshaw.

Alabama is preparing for the game of the year in college football as the Crimson Tide hosts LSU next Saturday (Nov. 5) at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. LSU is ranked first in the nation and Bama is second. Both teams are 8-0 and 5-0 in Southeastern Conference play. CBS will televise the game beginning at 7 p.m. CDT

Stanford is the only other team with multiple semifinalists with offensive guard David DeCastro and offensive tackle Jonathan Martin.

Also making the list of semifinalists are Vinny Curry (Marshall), Melvin Ingram (South Carolina), Matt Kalil (USC), Luke Kuechly (Boston College), Whitney Mercilus (Illinois), Manti Te'o (Notre Dame) and Jerel Worth (Michigan State).

The Lombardi Award, which is given annually to the nation's top college football lineman (offense or defense) who, in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the discipline of Vince Lombardi.

The winner will be announced on December 7 at the Reliant Center in Houston.

Hightower was named the Lott IMPACT National Player of the Week following his performance against Tennessee. He leads the team with 48 total tackles while making six tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He also has one interception, two pass breakups and six quarterback hurries.

Jones, who has played four positions along the offensive line this season, has started all eight games at left tackle. He has helped clear a path for Alabama's 15th-ranked rushing offense that is churning out 229.25 yards per game while ranking 14th nationally in scoring offense at 39.38 points per game.

Upshaw leads the Crimson Tide and the Southeastern Conference with 11.5 tackles for loss (-54 yards) and 4.5 sacks (-35 yards). He has caused two fumbles, made 26 total tackles and intercepted one pass vs. Florida, which he returned for a touchdown. Upshaw also leads the team with seven quarterback hurries.

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