The Lombardi Award is awarded by the Lombardi Foundation annually to the best college football player, regardless of position, based on performance, as well as leadership, character, and resiliency. From 1970 until 2016 the award was presented by Rotary International specifically to a lineman or linebacker. The Lombardi Award program was approved by the Rotary International club in Houston in 1970 shortly after the death of famed National Football League coach Vince Lombardi. The committee outlined the criteria for eligibility for the award, which remained in place until 2016: A player should be a down lineman on either offense or defense or a linebacker who lines up no further than five yards deep from the ball.
|Given for||the best college football player|
|Presented by||Lombardi Foundation (since 2017)|
|Most recent||Joe Burrow|
The voting electorate is made up of the head coaches from all NCAA Division I schools, sports media personnel from across the country, and former winners and finalists of the Lombardi Award. The total number of voters is approximately 500. The Ohio State University holds the record for most Lombardi awards with six. Orlando Pace, the only two-time winner (1995 and 1996), is the most recent offensive lineman to be honored.
The main part of the trophy used to be a block of granite, paying homage to Lombardi's college days at Fordham University as an offensive lineman when his offensive line was referred to as the "Seven Blocks of Granite". A new trophy designed by Texas sculptor Edd Hayes replaced the original block of granite.
- "Vince Lombardi Award Winners". Sports Reference. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- Foundation, Lombardi (2017-10-26). "LOMBARDI AWARD UNDER NEW DIRECTION & 2018 EVENT DATE SET". GlobeNewswire News Room. Retrieved 2018-12-07.
- "The Rotary Lombardi Award". The Rotarian. Rotary International. 167 (6): 34. December 1995. ISSN 0035-838X. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- Reineking, Jim (July 14, 2015). "2015 Rotary Lombardi Award watch list". NFL.com. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- "Texas' Orakpo wins Lombardi Award". ESPN.com. Associated Press. December 10, 2008. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
- "Michigan's Woodley wins Lombardi Award". USA Today. Associated Press. December 6, 2006. Retrieved July 16, 2017.