SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 03: DeDe Lattimore #34 of the University of South Florida Bulls intercepts a pass in the end zone against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on September 3, 2011 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
USF juniors DeDe Lattimore and Ryne Giddins were named to the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List yesterday, which honors the nation's top linebacker or defensive lineman. The Lombardi watch list is a bit expansive as Greg Auman notes, with an incredible 145 players named on the watch list.
Both Lattimore and Giddins are expected to have big seasons this year after their strong sophomore campaigns. Lattimore was the team leader last year in most defensive categories, totalling 94 tackles, 7 sacks, and 13 tackles for loss last year. DeDe also had that big end zone interception against Notre Dame, along with forcing two fumbling and recovering one of his own.
Giddins more than doubled his production from his freshman campaign, ending up with 44 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, 3 forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. Expectations are high for the Armwood High School product, who had a monster spring and has been named to almost every preseason All-Big East teams out there.
And if you've never seen the trophy, behold its awesomeness. So simple but so, so amazing.