Here is the official release:
TUSCALOOSA â€“ University of Alabama nose guard Terrence Cody is one of four finalists for the 40th Rotary Lombardi Award, which goes to the nationâ€™s top interior lineman or linebacker, the Rotary Club of Houston announced Tuesday evening.
â€œIt means a lot,â€ Cody said following Tuesdayâ€™s practice. â€œNot a lot of guys get picked for an award like this. Iâ€™m real happy to be in the top four. Itâ€™s a blessing. Iâ€™m really representing our team because you donâ€™t get honors like this unless you have success as a team.â€
Cody joins TCU senior defensive end Jerry Hughes, Oklahoma junior defensive end Gerald McCoy and Nebraska senior defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh as this yearâ€™s finalists.
He is the seventh Crimson Tide player to be named a finalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award and the second in a row, joining left tackle Andre Smith, who was a finalist for the award in 2008. Former All-American linebacker Cornelius Bennett is the only Alabama player to win the Lombardi Award, capturing the honor in 1986.
The senior from Ft. Myers, Fla., has anchored an Alabama defensive front that has held opponents to 68.2 rushing yards per game, a figure that leads the Southeastern Conference and ranks second nationally. Codyâ€™s presence has also allowed the Tide defense to rank second in the SEC and fourth nationally in total defense (242.2 ypg) and second in the SEC and sixth nationally in scoring (10.1 ppg) defense.
In nine games, Cody has recorded 20 tackles, including five tackles for loss (-20 yards), while constantly going against double-teams. He has also added two blocked kicks, two quarterback pressures and one pass breakup.
Cody was named the National and SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week following his performance against Tennessee on Oct. 24, where he tied the Alabama single-game record with two blocked field goals. He blocked a 44-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the game to preserve the Tideâ€™s 12-10 win. Earlier in the game, he swatted away a 43-yard field goal attempt with the Tide holding a 9-3 lead with just over 10 minutes to play.
The four finalists were selected from a group of 12 semifinalists in a second round of national voting by the members of the Rotary Lombardi Award Selection Committee. That committee is comprised of nearly 500 voters, including all Division-I head coaches, all past finalists of the Rotary Lombardi Award, and a selection of writers and broadcasters from around the country. The award will be presented on December 9, 2009 in Houston.
Founded in the weeks following the 1970 death from cancer of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, the Rotary Lombardi Award has consistently delivered upon the mission set forth by Marie Lombardi when she granted the use of her late husbandâ€™s name. Her only stipulation was that all net proceeds from the event be donated to the American Cancer Society. Millions of dollars have been raised since that time.