Alabama center Barrett Jones was selected as finalist for the 43rd Rotary Lombardi Award, which goes to the nation's top linebacker or interior lineman, the Rotary Club of Houston announced on Tuesday.
Jones, from Germantown, Tenn., is joined by South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney, Georgia's Jarvis Jones and Notre Dame's Manti Te'o as finalists.
Jones is the 10th Crimson Tide players to be named a finalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award. He is also the fifth Alabama player selected as a finalist in the last five years, joining Andre Smith (2008), Terrence Cody (2009), Dont'a Hightower (2011) and Courtney Upshaw (2012). Former All-American linebacker Cornelius Bennett is the only Alabama player to win the Lombardi Award, capturing the honor in 1986.
Jones spent his first two years starting at right guard for the Crimson Tide. When Alabama needed a left tackle in 2011, he moved outside and won the Outland Trophy for the nation's best interior linemen. In 2012, the Tide needed to replace a three-year starter at center and Jones stepped up once again and has exceled at that position this year.
Jones has graded out at an average of 89.7 percent in the Tide's 11 games, including eight games over 90 percent. He has only six missed assignments on 606 plays this season while anchoring one of the nation's top offensive lines in 47 starts over the last four years.
The four finalists were selected from a group of seven semifinalists in a second round of national voting by the members of the Rotary Lombardi Award Selection Committee. That committee is comprised of nearly 500 voters, including all FBS head coaches, all past finalists of the Rotary Lombardi Award, and a selection of writers and broadcasters from around the country.
Founded in the weeks following the 1970 death from cancer of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, the Rotary Lombardi Award has consistently delivered upon the mission set forth by Marie Lombardi when she 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. Millions of dollars have been raised since that time.
This year's Rotary Lombardi Award will be presented on Dec. 5, at Houston's Hobby Center and telecast nationally on the CBS Sports Network (check local listings).
INFORMATION SOURCE: University of Alabama Athletics Dept.
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