Three from Arkansas Make List – Bryce Giddens Among Them


The prestigious football watch list, the Rotary Lombardi Award, was announced that included three players from Arkansas to keep an eye on this fall that included the Razorbacks’ Trey Flowers and the Red Wolves Qushaun Lee and Bryce Giddens. Shortly after the list was announced, Arkansas State head football coach Blake Anderson announced Giddens, the school’s star junior center, was ending his college football career.

The full statement from Anderson and announcement of the watch list are below.

Arkansas State head football coach Blake Anderson announced Monday that junior center Bryce Giddens has decided to end his collegiate playing career because of past and recent injuries sustained on the field. 

“After multiple discussions with Bryce, his family and doctors, we support Bryce’s decision to step away from football,” said Anderson.  “Bryce is obviously a talented football player, but the health and well-being of all our players comes first.  We wish Bryce only the best in his future endeavors.  As far as our football team goes, I’m confident we will have several players step up on our offensive line this fall to fill the vacancy left by Bryce.”

Giddens was a two-year starter for the Red Wolves at the center position, earning Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference recognition as a sophomore in 2013.  He helped lead A-State to Sun Belt Conference championships in 2012 and 2013, as well as back-to-back GoDaddy Bowl victories the last two seasons.

Giddens will continue his association with the Arkansas State Athletics Department, working with administration while remaining on scholarship as he pursues his bachelor’s degree.


Bryce Giddens bio:

2013: Rimington Trophy Watch List

2012: Played in every game and started final 11 at center as a true freshman for an offense that broke the school record for total offense and touchdowns scored, while also ranking among the top 50 teams in the nation in sacks allowed (17th), total offense (23rd), rushing offense (23rd), scoring offense (26th), passing offense (23rd) . . . Helped pave the way for 31 rushing touchdowns and a Sun-Belt Conference best 206.2 rushing yards per game . . . Part of ASU’s offensive line that helped the Red Wolves produce top-five all-time Sun Belt Conference numbers for total offense, yards per game, points scored, touchdowns, first downs, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, and ruhsing yards per game . . . Athletic Director’s Honor Roll member.

HIGH SCHOOL: 3-star recruit by . . . 2-star recruit by and 247Sports . . . Ranked as the No. 30 and No. 35 center in the nation by and 247Sports, respectively . . . 4-year varsity letterman with 45 career starts, including 36 consecutive . . . Named Class 5A First Team All-State by the Atlanta Journal Constitution in 2011 . . . Associated Press all-state selection as a junior and senior . . . Earned All-Region 1-5A honors as voted on by the region’s coaches as a sophomore, junior and senior . . . Chosen to play in the 2011 Georgia North-South high school All-Star game in Columbus . . . Also an accomplished member of the wrestling team with an overall record of 88-12.

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HOUSTON – The Rotary Lombardi Award committee announced the 2014 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List today. The list includes 123 athletes from 76 universities.

“This is one of our favorite times of the year,” Rotary Lombardi Award committee chair Brian Carr said.  “The dog days of summer are when people start thinking about college football again.  We are ready to see who is going to distinguish themselves this year, and we look forward to tracking the progress of each player on this list.”

Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. The candidates earned a place on the preliminary watch list by earning All-American honors, being named to their respective all-conference teams or receiving 2014 pre-season honors. The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List will be updated prior to the start of the 2014 season in order to identify other players who have received significant pre-season honors. 

While the Watch List highlights those players who have already received national recognition, any Division 1 player who meets the requirements is eligible for consideration from the Rotary Lombardi Selection Committee. This committee is comprised of more than 300 members, including all past winners and finalists, all Division 1 head coaches and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.

The Rotary Lombardi Watch List, intended as a reference tool for the Selection Committee, will be periodically updated and revised through the conclusion of the voting to determine the 12 Semifinalists for 2014.

The 45th Rotary Lombardi Award will be held on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at the Bayou Music Center in Houston, Texas.  For more information, visit

The full watch list includes:

Henry Anderson, DE, Sr. – Stanford

Stephone Anthony, LB, Sr. – Clemson

Chi Chi Ariguzo, LB, Sr. – Northwestern

T.T. Barber, LB, Jr. – Middle Tennessee State

Jamaal Bass, LB, Sr. – Northern Illinois

Vic Beasley, DE, Sr. – Clemson

Michael Bennett, DT, Sr. – Ohio State

Austin Blythe, C, Jr. – Iowa

Joey Bosa, DE, So. – Ohio State

Brett Boyko, T, Sr. – UNLV

Kelby Brown, LB, Sr. – Duke

Brandin Bryant, DT, Jr. – Florida Atlantic

Shilique Calhoun, DE, Jr. – Michigan State

AJ Cann, G, Sr. – South Carolina

Justin Cherocci, LB, Sr. – Central Michigan

Le’Raven Clark, T, Jr. – Texas Tech

Ben Clarke, C, Jr. – Hawaii

La’El Collins, T, Sr. – LSU

Christian Covington, DT, Jr. – Rice

Carl Davis, DT, Sr. – Iowa

Tyeler Davison, DT, Sr. – Fresno State

Reese Dismukes, C, Sr. – Auburn

Jamil Douglas, G, Sr. – Arizona State

Spencer Drango, T, Jr. – Baylor

Ejiro Ederaine, LB, Jr. – Fresno State

Steve Edmond, LB, Sr. – Texas

Mario Edwards, DE, Jr. – Florida State

Cameron Erving, T, Sr. Florida State

Dominic Espinsoa, C, Sr. – Texas

Kyler Frackrell, LB, Jr. – Utah State

Devonte Fields, DE, So. – TCU

BJ Finney, C, Sr. – Kansas State

Trey Flowers, DE, Sr. – Arkansas

Leonard Floyd, LB, So. – Georgia

Alani Fau, LB, Sr. – BYU

Bryce Giddens, C, Jr. – Arkansas State

Hroniss Grasu, C, Sr. Oregon

Randy Gregory, DE, Jr. – Nebraska

Bryce Hager, LB, Sr. – Baylor

Justin Hamilton, DT, Sr. – UL-Lafayette

Lincoln Hansen, T, Sr. – Eastern Michigan

Rob Havenstein, T, Sr. – Wisconsin

Brock Hekking, DE, Sr. – Nevada

Ben Henney- LB, Sr. – Kansas

Treyvon Hester, DT, So. – Toledo

Sean Hickey, T, Sr. – Syracuse

Jermaine Holmes, LB, Sr. – Marshall

Chucky Hunter, DT, Sr. – TCU

Martin Ifedi, DE, Sr. – Memphis

Scott Inskeep, G, Sr. – UTEP

Myles Jack, LB, So. – UCLA

Tre Jackson, G, Sr. – Florida State

Grady Jarrett, DT, Sr. – Clemson

Chris Jasperse, C, Sr. – Marshall

Cameron Jefferson, G, Sr. – UNLV

Chris Johnson, LB, Sr. – Navy

Kaleb Johnson, G, Sr. – Rutgers

A.J. Johnson, LB, Sr. – Tennessee

Gerrand Johnson, DT, Jr. – UL-Monroe

Tyler Johnstone , T, Jr. – Oregon

Chris Jones, DT, So. – Mississippi State

Bronson Kaufusi, LB, Jr. – BYU

Eric Kendricks, LB, Sr. – UCLA

Andrae Kirk, LB, Sr. – Florida Atlantic

Arie Kouandjio, G, Sr. – Alabama

Qushaun Lee, LB, Sr. – Arkansas State

Cyril Lemon, G, Sr. – North Texas

Braden Lyons, T, Sr. – Florida Atlantic

Luther Maddy, DT, Sr. – Virginia Tech

Derrick Malone, LB, Sr. – Oregon

Greg Mancz, G, Sr. – Toledo

Nick Martin, OL, Sr. – Notre Dame

Shaquille Mason, G, Sr. – Georgia Tech

Tyler Matakevich, LB, Jr . – Temple

Josue Matias, G, Sr. – Florida State

Derrick Mathews, LB, Sr. – Houston

David Mayo, LB, Sr. – Texas State

Benardrick McKinney, LB, Jr. – Mississippi State

Silverberry Mouhon, DE, Jr. – Cincinnati

Ryan Mueller, DE, Sr. – Kansas State

Robert Nkemdiche, DT, So. – Ole Miss

Shawn Oakman, DE, Jr. – Baylor

Cedric   Ogbuehi. T, Sr. – Texas A&M

Andrus  Peat, T, Jr. – Stanford

Remington Peck, DL, Jr. – BYU

Denzel  Perryman, LB, Sr. – Miami

Andy Phillips, G, Sr. – Central Michigan

Terrance Plummer, LB, Sr. – UCF

Hayes Pullard, LB, Sr. – USC

Mykhael Quave, T, Jr. – UL-Lafayette

Daniel   Quave, G, Sr. – UL-Lafayette

Cedric Reed, DE, Sr. –Texas

Jacob Richard, C, Jr. – Ball State

Tyler Roberts, DE, Jr. – Troy

A’Shawn Robinson, DE, So. – Alabama

Jake Ryan, LB, Sr. – Michigan

Ty Sambrailo, T, Sr. – Colorado State

Brandon Scherff, T, Sr. – Iowa

Isaac Seumalo, C, Jr. – Oregon State

Danny   Shelton, DT, Jr. – Washington

Steve Shumaker, OL, Sr. – Army

Robert  Singletary, DE, Sr. – UTSA

Jake Smith, C, Sr. – Louisville

Jaylon Smith, LB, So. – Notre Dame

Quinton Spain, G, Sr. – West Virginia

Eric Striker, LB, Jr. – Oklahoma

Junior Sylvestre, LB, Sr. – Toledo

AJ Tarpley, LB, Sr. – Stanford

Shaq Thompson, LB, Jr. – Washington

Laken Tomlinson, G, Sr. – Duke

Dominique Tovell, DE, Jr. – UL-Lafayette

Max Tuerk,G, Jr. – USC

Clint Van Horn, T, Jr. – Marshall

Zach Virgil, LB, Sr. – Utah State

Diaheem Watkins, DE, Sr. – UAB

Cody Whitehair,G, Sr. – Kansas State

Cody Wichmann, G, Sr. – Fresno State

Ucambre Williams, T, Sr. – South Alabama

Leonard Williams, DE, Jr. – USC

Ramick Wilson, LB, Sr. – Georgia

Eddie Yarbrough, DE, Jr. – Wyoming

Mason Y’Barbo, G, Sr. – North Texas


About National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA)

The Rotary Lombardi Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 678 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit to learn more about our story.

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