Two Chippewas on Lombardi Watch List

July 14, 2014

By Andy Sneddon, -

Mount Pleasant, Mich. - Two Central Michigan football players have been named to the 2014 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List.

Guard Andy Phillips and linebacker Justin Cherocci were named to the list, which comprises 123 student-athletes representing 76 universities. Both Phillips and Cherocci are seniors.

The award, which recognizes college football's top lineman or linebacker, is voted upon by a panel of past winners and finalists, Division I coaches, and a number of sportswriters and broadcasters who regularly cover college football.

The list will be pared down to 12 semifinalists and the winner will be named on Dec. 10 in Houston.

Phillips was named to the All-MAC Second Team last season, starting all 12 games at left guard and extending his starts streak to a team-high 30 games. He earned CMU's Offensive Upfront Player of the Year Award and served as a co-captain.

Cherocci led the Mid-American Conference with 121 total tackles in 2013 and ranked 16th nationally with 10.1 tackles per game. He was named to the All-MAC Third Team and earned CMU's Defensive Upfront Co-Player of the Year Award.

Cherocci and Phillips are among eight student-athletes from MAC schools names to the list. The others: linebacker Jamaal Bass, Northern Illinois; tackle Lincoln Hansen, Eastern Michigan; center Jacob Richard, Ball State; and defensive tackle Treyvon Hester, guard Greg Mancz, and linebacker Junior Sylvestre of Toledo.

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