Missouri’s Sam picked as Nagurski, Lombardi finalist

11/21/2013 1:34 PM

11/21/2013 1:34 PM

Missouri senior defensive end Michael Sam is a finalist for two prestigious college football honors, the Bronco Nagurski Trophy and the Lombardi Award.

Both sets of finalists were announced Thursday.

The Nagurski Trophy, which is chosen by the Football Writers Association of America, goes to the nation’s best defensive player.

Sam, who leads the Southeastern Conference in tackles for loss (16) and sacks (10), is the second Tiger to be chosen as a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy, joining former All-American defensive end Justin Smith, who was a finalist in 2000.

Michigan State linebacker Darqueze Denard, Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Florida State defensive back Lamarcus Joyner and Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley are the other finalists.

The winner will be announced Dec. 9 at the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

Sam, who has three three-sack games this season and returned a fumble for a touchdown against Georgia, is also one of four finalists for the Lombardi Award, which is presented annually to college football’s best lineman.

Donald, Mosley and UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr are the other finalists for the Lombardi Award, which will be announced Dec. 11 in Houston.

Sam also is a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which will announce its three finalists Nov. 25.

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