Three Texas linemen have been recognized for their exceptional football skills and character by making it onto the Lombardi Award watch list.
Senior linebacker Jaylan Ford, junior tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders, and sophomore offensive lineman Kelvin Banks Jr. have been selected for this prestigious honor, an award named after NFL Hall of Fame Head Coach Vince Lombardi.
The Lombardi Award, presented annually by the Rotary Club of Houston, acknowledges college football's offensive or defensive linemen who not only display outstanding performance and ability but also embody the character and discipline emblematic of Vince Lombardi. Being put on the watch list is a testament to the dedication and hard work these players have put into their craft.
Texas Football has a rich history with the Lombardi Award. Brian Orakpo was the most recent Longhorn to claim the honor in 2008, with Tony Degrate and Kenneth Sims also clinching the award in 1984 and 1981, respectively. Several other Longhorns have been finalists, highlighting the program's consistent commitment to excellence.
Ford, a standout linebacker, showcased his prowess in the 2022 season, earning AP All-American honors with an impressive 119 tackles, multiple interceptions, and fumble recoveries. Sanders, a skilled tight end, emerged as a key player with 54 receptions, 613 receiving yards, and five touchdowns. Meanwhile, Banks, a rising star on the offensive line, started all 13 games in his freshman year and earned Freshman All-America honors.
The Lombardi Award semifinalists will be announced on November 1, 2023, with the winner being revealed at the 46th Rotary Lombardi Award dinner on December 6, 2023. This recognition not only celebrates their skills but also acknowledges their contribution to their team's success and their embodiment of the values the award represents.