Blalock, Crowder On Lombardi 'Watch List'

RT Justin Blalock and DE Tim Crowder have been named to the preliminary watch list for the 37th Lombardi Award. The award honors the nation's top lineman and will be presented on December 6 at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston.

Crowder was a first-team All-Big 12 selection last season and is a three-year starter at defensive end.

"I'm excited about it but I don't get over my head about stuff like that," Crowder said following Wednesday's Longhorn scrimmage. "It's preseason, and I want to be getting something like that in the post-season. It's a team-award and I'm just happy to be named for it."

Crowder started all 13 games in 2005 and led the team with 20 QB pressures. He recorded 50 tackles, nine TFL, three sacks, two PBD, an INT and a forced fumble during the National Championship campaign. Crowder has recorded 132 tackles, 22 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 56 pressures, 11 PBD, two INTs and caused four fumbles in 38 career games.

This is the second consecutive year Blalock has been on the watch list, joining former teammates LDT Rod Wright and LT Jonathan Scott last season. A first-team All-Big 12 selection, Blalock earned third-team All-America honors from The Associated Press and was named honorable mention All-America by Sports Illustrated in 2005. Blalock has 38 career starts at right tackle and was a part of a line that helped Texas rank first in the nation in scoring offense (50.2 ppg), second in rushing offense (274.9 ypg) and third in total offense (512.1 ypg) last season. He helped clear the way for Texas to set school single-season records in both points scored (652) and total yards (6,657). The 652 points broke the 22-year old NCAA record (624 points) that Nebraska set in 1983.

The 44 preliminary candidates secured a place on the Watch List by earning All-American honors at the end of the 2005 or previous seasons, or by being named to their respective All-Conference team as selected by the conference's head coaches. Eligibility for the Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen and those defensive players who line up within five yards of the football. The Watch List will be periodically updated and revised through the conclusion of the voting to determine the 12 Semifinalists for 2006.

Wright was named a finalist for the award in 2005, marking the third time in the last four years a Longhorn has reached the finals, including LB Derrick Johnson in 2004 and DT Cory Redding in 2002. Texas has had two winners of the award with DT Tony Degrate in 1984 and DT Kenneth Sims in 1981.

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