Oct. 18, 2006
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University senior defensive end Mkristo Bruce has been named one of 12 semi-finalists for the 2006 Rotary Lombardi Award, presented by Wachovia Bank, it was announced by the Rotary Club of Houston Foundation.
Bruce, who leads all NCAA Division-I players with 10 sacks, last week was named to the mid-season All-America teams by several outlets, including CNNSI.com, CollegeFootballNews.com and cbssportsline.com. The latter labeled Bruce as the best defensive player in the nation at the season's midway point.
In addition to his 10 sacks, Bruce has registered 42 tackles, third on the team, to go with 11 tackles-for-loss, two forced fumbles, one interception and a fumble recovery. Earlier this season, Bruce tied a Pacific-10 Conference record with five sacks against Stanford.
Bruce enters this Saturday's game against Oregon third on WSU's all-time sacks list with 28.5, four shy of former teammate D.D. Acholonu and nine shy of DeWayne Patterson's school record.
In addition to Bruce, 11 other players, all seniors, were selected semifinalists for the 2006 Rotary Lombardi Award: linebackers Buster Davis of Florida State, Paul Posluszny of Penn State and Patrick Willis of Mississippi; offensive tackles Justin Blalock of Texas and Dan Mozes of West Virginia and Joe Thomas of Wisconsin; defensive ends Gaines Adams of Clemson, Quentin Moses of Georgia, Brian Smith of Missouri, and LaMarr Woodley of Michigan; and defensive tackle Quinn Pitock of Ohio State.
The award, named after legendary coach Vince Lombardi, is given annually to the nation's top lineman on either offense or defense. Linebackers are also eligible for the award. Four finalists will be announced Nov. 7th, with the award being presented in Houston, Texas, Dec. 6th. A committee of over 400 college football coaches, writers, broadcasters and previous finalists participate in a three-tiered balloting process.
For more information on the award, please visit www.rotarylombardiaward.com.