Buckeyes' Joey Bosa named Lombardi Award Finalist
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Joey Bosa, Ohio State's powerful and dominant defensive end who is challenging school single season record for tackles-for-loss and quarterback sacks, is a finalist for the 2014 Rotary Lombardi Award. The Rotary Club of Houston released the names of the four finalists this morning.
Bosa, just a sophomore from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and St. Thomas Aquinas High School, has not only racked up huge statistics for the Buckeye defense this season, which is currently ranked 17th nationally in total defense, but he has been the center of numerous game-altering plays. Consider:
- His walk-off sack in overtime -- one of his 2.5 sacks on the day -- clinched Ohio State's 31-24 victory over Penn State;
- His forced fumble and TFL vs. Navy was scooped up by freshman Darron Lee and returned 61 yards for Ohio State's first touchdown of the season in the 34-17 victory over Navy;
- His sack and forced fumble at the Virginia Tech 15 helped Ohio State tie Virginia Tech, 21-all, late in that game; and
- His devastating strip sack vs. Cincinnati resulted in a safety and a touchdown for the Buckeye offense following the free kick.
Bosa's three forced fumbles have directly or indirectly led to 23 Ohio State points this season.
The 6-5, 278-pound Bosa is currently the Big Ten Conference leader in sacks (11.5), tackles-for-loss (17.0) and forced fumbles (three). He is among the national leaders in all three categories as well, currently sitting at No. 5 nationally in quarterback sacks, No. 7 nationally in TFLs and No. 19 in forced fumbles.
Ohio State single season records for TFLs (26 by Mike Vrabel in 1995), TFL yards (133 by Vrabel in 1995; Bosa has 100), quarterback sacks (14.0 by Vernon Gholston in 2007) and sack yards (111 by Gholston in 2007) are all in play for Bosa, who has been consistent to the tune of at least one tackle-for-loss in 15 of the last 16 games including a school-record 14 consecutive games.
Bosa's finalist honor represents the 15th time that Ohio State has had a Lombardi Award finalist. Ohio State has produced a Lombardi Award winner six times, including A.J. Hawk in 2005.
Ohio State Lombardi Award Winners
2005 -- A.J. Hawk
1996 -- Orlando Pace
1995 -- Orlando Pace
1987 -- Chris Spielman
1973 -- John Hicks
1970 -- Jim Stillwagon
Ohio State Lombardi Award Finalists
2014 -- Joey Bosa
2008 -- James Laurinaitis
2007 -- James Laurinaitis
2006 -- Quinn Pitcock
1998 -- Andy Katzenmoyer
1997 -- Andy Katzenmoyer
1986 -- Chris Spielman
1974 -- Pete Cusick
1973 -- Randy Gradishar
The three other finalists for the 2014 Lombardi Award are Clemson senior DE Vic Beasley, Washington senior LB Hau'oli Kikaha and Arizona sophomore LB Scooby Wright III. The 2014 Rotary Lombardi Award will be presented Wednesday evening, December 10, at the Bayou Music Center in Houston, Texas. This year's Rotary Lombardi Award ceremony will be broadcast by Fox Sports Southwest.