Hawk Tackles OSU's Sixth Lombardi Award

It has been a rough week for A.J. Hawk, who was reportedly the victim of a break-in at his campus area residence. But Hawk's fortunes took a turn for the better Tuesday night when he was named as the Lombardi Award winner for 2005.

Ohio State's collection of individual award winners grew on Tuesday night as linebacker A.J. Hawk was named as the school's sixth Lombardi Award winner in festivities conducted by the Houston Rotary Club.

Hawk outlasted a field that also included Louisville defensive end Elvis Dumervil, Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny and Texas defensive tackle Rod Wright.

"The only reason that I'm here is because of the 10 guys I play around every day," Hawk said upon accepting the award. "I play around some of the best players in college football. I think I am just representing them.

"Without them, I wouldn't be here."

The senior led Ohio State this season with 109 tackles, including 13 tackles-for-loss. Hawk, who had over 500 tackles as a prep player in Centerville, Ohio, ranks fifth on the school's all-time tackles list with 382 heading into Ohio State's Fiesta Bowl match-up with Notre Dame.

He also led a defense that was the nation's best against the run, giving up only 74.5 yards per game. The Buckeyes also led the Big Ten in scoring, passing and total defense.

Hawk is OSU's first Lombardi Award winner since Orlando Pace won it back-to-back in 1995-96. Other Buckeyes to win the award include Jim Stillwagon (1970), John Hicks (1973) and Chris Spielman (1987). Stillwagon was the inaugural winner of the award given to the nation's top lineman or linebacker in honor of legendary coach Vince Lombardi.

The 6-1, 240-pound Hawk was earlier named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. This could be the beginning of a big week for Hawk, who is also in the running for the Walter Camp (player of the year), Butkus (best linebacker), Bednarik (best defensive player) and Lott (best defensive player) awards.

The Camp and Bednarik awards will be announced as part of the College Depot College Football Awards show Thursday night on ESPN in Orlando.

On Friday, Hawk will participate in a taping for the Cingular ABC Sports All-American team show, which will air on Saturday. The Butkus will also be announced Saturday in Orlando, while the Lott award will be revealed Sunday in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Hawk is being joined on his awards banquet junket by his parents, Keith and Judy Hawk.

Some 250 coaches, former finalists and media members voted for the Lombardi award.

Click the link below for a look at Hawk's awards circuit week diary from the OSU official site, complete with comments and photos:

A.J. Hawk's Awards Circuit Diary

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