Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. The candidates earned a place on the preliminary Watch List by earning All-American honors, being named to their respective all-conference teams or receiving 2015 pre-season honors.
The selection of Quave, a senior offensive lineman, a Tovell, a senior linebacker, marked the second consecutive year the duo was named to the Watch List. The pair, who will represent the Ragin' Cajuns at next week's Sun Belt Conference Football Media Day in New Orleans, were part of a quartet of Ragin' Cajuns to be named to last year's Watch List that included Daniel Quave and Justin Hamilton.
Mykhael Quave, a native of Gautier, Miss., earned second-team All-Sun Belt Conference and All-Louisiana honors for the Ragin' Cajuns in 2014 after starting all 13 games at left tackle. Quave, who has started in all 39 games in his collegiate career, was one of the main anchors on a line that helped spark a rushing attack that ranked 23rd nationally and produced the school's fourth 1,000-yard rusher (Elijah McGuire) in school history.
Tovell finished second on the team in tackles (71) for Louisiana in 2014, and was tied for second in tackles for loss (10.0) and fourth in sacks (3.0). The Columbia, Miss., native set career-highs in total tackles, solo stops and sacks. He had four or more tackles in nine games during the season, including a season-high nine stops in the team's regular-season finale at Troy.
The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List will be updated prior to the start of the 2015 season in order to identify other players who have received significant pre-season honors.
While the Watch List highlights those players who have already received national recognition, any Division I player who meets the requirements is eligible for consideration from the Rotary Lombardi Selection Committee. This committee is comprised of more than 500 members, including all past winners and finalists, all Division I head coaches and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
The Rotary Lombardi Watch List containing 145 delegates, intended as a reference tool for the Selection Committee, will be periodically updated and revised through the conclusion of the voting to determine the 12 semi-finalists for 2015.
The 2015 Watch List includes Scooby Wright III, the 2014 Rotary Lombardi Award winner. Also listed is Joey Bosa, 2014 Rotary Lombardi Award Finalist, and Semi- Finalists Shilique Calhoun and Robert Nkemdiche. The 2015 Watch List also includes Toby Weathersby, the winner of the inaugural Greater Houston High School Award and Kingsley Keke, a 2014 Finalist for the High School Award.
The 46th Rotary Lombardi Award will be held on December 9, 2015 at the Bayou Music Center in Houston. Proceeds from the Rotary Lombardi Awards stay in the Houston community and benefit the American Cancer Society, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centers / Children's Cancer Hospital, and Texas Children's Cancer Center. For more information on the schedule of events, please visit www.rotarylombardiaward.org.