Ralph Named to Lombardi Award List

HOUSTON -- University of North Carolina senior offensive guard Kyle Ralph has been named to the 2005 Lombardi Award Watch List. Ralph earned first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors from ESPN in 2004 and is a 2005 preseason all-conference selection by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.

A native of Cincinnati, Ralph started all 12 games last year, playing more than 500 snaps without allowing a sack. He is one of three returning senior starters on the offensive line, including tackles Brian Chacos and Skip Seagraves. In 2004, the offensive line helped Carolina finish second in the league in total offense and yards per carry. In addition, Carolina was second in the ACC in sacks allowed.

North Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers won the 2001 Lombardi Award, becoming the first Tar Heel defensive player to win a major national award.

This year's Lombardi Award Watch List is divided up nearly equally, with 58 offensive players and 63 defensive players who meet the playing criteria currently on the list. To be eligible for the Rotary Lombardi Award, a player my play on the line of scrimmage (including tight ends on offensive) or must be a linebacker who lines up within five yards of the football.

The 123 members of the Watch List earned a place on the Watch List by earning All-American honors at the end of the 2004 (or previous seasons), by being named to their respective All Conference team as selected by the conference's head coaches or by being named to one of the pre-season honor teams.

The Lombardi Award will celebrate its 36th year of honoring the finest linemen in college football on December 7 at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Downtown Houston. All net proceeds from the dinner and related activities are donated to the American Cancer Society. Since the first dinner in 1971, nearly $3.1 million has been raised through the efforts of Rotarians and their guests.

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