Dorsey wins Lombardi for third award in as many days
HOUSTON -- LSU Tigers defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey won the Lombardi Award as the nation's top college lineman or linebacker Wednesday night, his third individual honor in three days.
The 6-foot-2, 303-pound Dorsey won the Bronko Nagurski Award on Monday, given to the nation's top defensive player. He was named the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year earlier Wednesday. He's also a finalist for the Bednarik award for outstanding defensive player and the Outland Trophy for best interior lineman.
Dorsey said the Rotary Lombardi Award means more than any of them.
"This is the Heisman to me," he said. "It's basically saying you're the best at what you do. It's a big-time award."
The other three finalists were Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis, Virginia defensive end Chris Long and Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Jake Long. Laurinaitis, the only junior, was also a finalist for the Nagurski award and he's up for the Bednarik.
Despite playing the last five games of the season with a sore right knee, Dorsey finished with 64 tackles, six sacks and 11½ tackles behind the line. Dorsey said his knee will be healthy when LSU (11-2) plays Ohio State (11-1) in the Bowl Championship Series title game on Jan. 7.
"I just need some time to heal and get some rehab done," he said. "But I'll be ready to go."
LSU coach Les Miles sat next to Dorsey on a stage at the Houston hotel where the award was announced. Ohio State recruiting coordinator John Peterson sat between Dorsey and Laurinaitis. Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel did not attend.
Laurinaitis has already seen enough of LSU to know what Dorsey means to the Tigers' defense.
"You realize that whole unit rides off of what he does," said Laurinaitis, the Big Ten defensive player of the year. "He's a passionate player, extremely strong, extremely quick. With that combination of size and speed, he's going to make offenses have nightmares."
Michigan defensive end LaMarr Woodley won the Lombardi award last year. A player from either the Big Ten or the SEC has won the past four.
"You come out and try to play hard all the time and help your team win," Dorsey said. "But when you get recognized for your individual efforts, with an award like this, that's like the biggest. It is a real honor."
The Lombardi Award was initiated by Houston's Rotary Club in 1970. The award originated shortly after its Hall of Fame namesake -- Vince Lombardi -- died of cancer.
About 500 college coaches, former finalists and media members voted for the annual award. The Rotary Club doesn't release a breakdown of the votes.
The 6-3, 240-pound Laurinaitis led the Buckeyes with 103 tackles, six of them sacks. He won the Nagurski award last year and was trying to become the sixth Ohio State player to win the Lombardi. A.J. Hawk won it in 2005.
Jake Long, 6-7, 313 pounds, was the only offensive lineman nominated after giving up one sack all season. He's also a finalist for the Outland Trophy.
Chris Long, 6-4, 284 pounds, is the son of Hall of Famer Howie Long and was the Atlantic Coast Conference's defensive player of the year. Long led the ACC with 19 tackles behind the line and finished third nationally with 14 sacks.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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