Rotary Lombardi Watch List for 3 RU Players

Rutgers football seniors Clark Harris, Ramel Meekins and Darnell Stapleton are among 101 college football players named to the Rotary Lombardi Award's Watch List. The 37th Rotary Lombardi Award honors the top lineman in college football and will be presented in Houston on December 6.

Clark Harris, a two-time First Team All-BIG EAST and 2006 Preseason All-America selection from Manahawkin, NJ, was the top tight end in the BIG EAST last season in receiving yards and receptions per game. He caught 38 passes for 584 yards with four touchdowns in 2005. Among the nation's leaders in consecutive games with at least one reception with 30, Harris concluded the 2005 season with a six-catch, 98-yard performance, including a first-quarter touchdown, in the Insight Bowl against Arizona State. The 6-6, 260-pound Harris is one of three active Scarlet Knights to have more than 100 receptions in his career, entering the 2006 season tied for 10th on RU's all-time receptions list with 109 in 35-games.

Ramel Meekins, a defensive tackle from Westwood, NJ, earned the starting assignment at defensive tackle in the 2005 training camp and turned in an outstanding season. He finished fifth on the team in tackles (63), second in tackles for loss (15.0) and third in sacks (9.0). Meekins also ranked fifth in the BIG EAST in both sacks and TFLs.

Darnell Stapleton, a center from Union, NJ, emerged as the starting center in last year's preseason camp and started all 12 games in 2005. He played an important role on an offensive line that recorded seven 100-yard rushing performances and produced RU's first 1,000-yard rusher since 1994. He also helped pave the way for Rutgers to accumulate a season-best 574 yards of total offense, including 337 yards rushing, in the Scarlet Knights' regular-season finale against Cincinnati and served on an RU offensive line that opened the way for 532 yards of total offense, including 158 on the ground, in the Insight Bowl vs. Arizona State.

Founded in the weeks following the death of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi from cancer in 1970, the Rotary Lombardi Award, presented by Wachovia Bank, has annually delivered upon the mission set forth by Marie Lombardi when she first granted the use of her late husband's name. Her only stipulation was that all net proceeds from the event be donated to the American Cancer Society and millions of dollars have been generated since that time.


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