Lincoln – Nebraska offensive linemen Spencer Long and Jeremiah Sirles were recognized on Monday, as both players are on the initial 2013 Rotary Lombardi Award. The candidates earned a place on the preliminary watch list by earning All-America honors, being named to their respective all-conference teams or receiving 2013 preseason honors.
Long has been the anchor of the Huskers’ offensive line for the past two seasons. The 6-foot-4, 315-pounder has started the past 27 games for the Huskers at offensive guard. He has played a major role in the Huskers being ranked in the top 15 nationally in rushing in each of the past two years. As a junior, he started all 14 games, helping NU to a 10-4 mark and an appearance in the Big Ten Championship game. He was a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection and garnered second-team All-America honors from the AP and Walter Camp Foundation, becoming the first Husker All-American lineman since 2001.
Sirles has been a two-year starter at offensive tackle for the Huskers and enters his senior season with 40 career games played. As a junior, the 6-foot-6, 310-pound tackle enjoyed his best season, starting all 14 games at right tackle and earning second-team honors from both the Big Ten coaches and media. He helped a pair of Huskers rush for over 1,000 yards, while Nebraska led the Big Ten in total offensive and rushing offense.
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.
Long and Sirles were two of the 12 players from the Big Ten on the list. The Lombardi Award winner will be announced on Dec. 11, 2013, in Houston, Texas.