The Rotary Lombardi Award is a tough one to win because it’s awarded to candidates on both sides of the trenches in college football. Which makes Penn State senior defensive tackle PJ Mustipher’s inclusion that much more impressive.
Mustipher is one of the 12 semifinalists across college football for the award given to the offensive or defensive lineman that, in addition to outstanding ability and performance, best exemplifies the character and discipline of Vince Lombardi.
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) October 13, 2021
Mustipher has been a linchpin in the Nittany Lions’ defense this season, serving as the key man along the defensive line. In six games this season, he’s recorded 21 tackles (16 solo), three tackles for loss, and a sack.
While Mustipher’s stats may not jump off the page, his overall defensive impact for the Lions cannot be purely measured with stats.
In addition to Mustipher, the other finalists include Alabama’s Will Anderson, BYU’s James Empey, Texas A&M’s Kenyon Green, Alabama’s Christian Harris, Michigan’s Aiden Hutchinson, Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson, Kentucky’s Darian Kinnard, Iowa’s Tyler Linderbaum, Ohio State’s Thayer Munford, Alabama’s Evan Neal and Iowa State’s Mike Rose.
A group of finalists will be announced later this year before the winner is announced on Dec. 8.