Penn State senior defensive end Carl Nassib won the 46th Rotary Lombardi Award for the nation’s top lineman (offense or defense) or linebacker.
He is the second Nittany Lion to win the award, joining Bruce Clark who won the award in 1978.
The Lombardi Award is given annually to the nation’s top offensive or defensive lineman or linebacker who, in addition to outstanding performance, best exemplifies the discipline of Vince Lombardi. Nassib wins the Lombardi Award over Ohio State’s Joey Bosa, Texas A&M’s Myles Garrett and Clemson’s Shaq Lawson.
Earlier on Wednesday, Nassib won the 14th Ted Hendricks Award for the nation’s top defensive end. He is the first Nittany Lion to win the Hendricks Award. Nassib earned more than 50 percent of the votes from the committee.
“I would like to thank the Rotary Club of Houston for all that they do and for giving out this great honor,” Nassib said. “I am so thankful for all of the help from my coaches, teammates and family. I am so blessed to be here and I will always remember this moment. God has a plan for everyone and if you just work hard enough, stay humble and trust in Him everything will take care of itself. Again I am so thankful for this honor and am truly humbled to bring it back home to Penn State.”
“Carl has had an incredible football career and I am sure winning the Rotary Lombardi Award will be a moment that lasts a lifetime. Today Carl joins a very talented brotherhood and we are excited to see him represent the Rotary Lombardi Award for 2015,” said Rotary Lombardi Award Chairman, Bill Byerley. “Congratulations to Coach Franklin and the Penn State University football program on this achievement.”
The Lombardi Award is the fourth of six awards for which Nassib is a finalist. Nassib won the Hendricks Award for the nation’s top defensive end. He is also a finalist for the Bednarik Award (nation’s top defensive player) and Lott IMPACT Trophy (distinguished young men represent the qualities embodied by Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott). He was a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy (top player that started his career as a walk-on) and the Nagurski Trophy (nation’s top defensive player).
Nassib was picked as the Big Ten’s Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year and earned first team All-Big Ten honors from both the coaches and media.
Despite playing only four snaps in the last two games due to injury, Nassib leads FBS in sacks (15.5) and forced fumbles (six) and is second in Football Bowl Subdivision and first in the Big Ten in tackles for loss (19.5). With one sack at Northwestern, Nassib broke the Penn State single-season sacks record by upping his total to 15.5. He surpasses the mark of 15 sacks set by Larry Kubin (1979) and Michael Haynes (2002).