Though most major college football awards have already been handed out, the Lombardi Award named its four finalists in advance of their awards ceremony on Feb. 17, 2017. Included in that group are a pair of SEC defensive linemen:
The Lombardi Award has announced 4 finalists, which includes Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett. pic.twitter.com/MVBiVi6luQ
— Daniel Gotera (@DTGoteraKHOU) December 14, 2016
Given out by the Rotary Lombardi Club of Houston since 1970, the Lombardi Award goes to the player who “demonstrates outstanding performance and skill in offensive or defensive positions and best exemplifies the discipline, virtue and wisdom that defined Vince Lombardi’s exceptional brand of leadership.”
Both Garrett and Allen had outstanding seasons in 2016, each making First Team All-SEC. Garrett, who ended the year with 8.5 sacks, is the current front-runner to be selected first overall in the NFL Draft.
Allen, meanwhile, is the more decorated player of the two, having been named the Bednarik Award winner, given to college football’s best defensive player, an award for which Garrett was also a finalist.
Though these two SEC standouts will have to go up against the reigning Heisman winner and one of the most dynamic defenders in recent memory, the league still has a 50/50 chance of taking home one of college football’s more prestigious awards.