July 16, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan football senior linebacker Kenny Demens (Oak Park, Mich./Detroit Country Day) and senior/junior offensive tackle Taylor Lewan (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral) have been named to the preseason watch list for the 2012 Rotary Lombardi Award, given to the nation's top down lineman or linebacker.
Demens has appeared in 38 consecutive games for Michigan, including 20 straight starts at middle linebacker. In 2011, Demens led the Wolverines with 94 tackles and had five stops for losses, three sacks and two pass breakups. He started all 13 games for a U-M defense that ranked second in the Big Ten and sixth in the nation in scoring defense (17.4 points per game). The Wolverines also led the Big Ten in fourth-down conversion percentage (38.1 percent), red zone defense (68.3 percent scoring efficiency), turnovers forced (29) and fumbles recovered (20) while ranking third in rushing defense (131.7 yards per game), third in third-down conversion percentage (36.4 percent) and fourth in total yards (322.2 yards per game). Demens received U-M's Roger Zatkoff Award as the team's top linebacker following last season.
Lewan has started 22 career games at left tackle, including all 13 in 2011. He earned All-Big Ten second team honors by the conference's coaches last season. He also was named to Phil Steele's 2012 preseason All-Big Ten first team and All-America third team. Lewan was part of a Wolverines offensive line in 2011 that allowed just 18 sacks, third-best in the Big Ten. The line also helped the Wolverines rush for 221.8 yards per game, second in the Big Ten and 13th in the nation, and produce two 1,000-yard rushers (Denard Robinson, 1,176; Fitzgerald Toussaint, 1,041).
The Rotary Lombardi Award will be presented on Dec. 5 in Houston, Texas.
The Rotary Lombardi Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA). The NCFAA and its members are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 12-day period in July. Fifteen of the association's 21 awards select a preseason watch list.
Following is the remaining 2012 preseason watch list calendar:
Tuesday, July 17: Biletnikoff Award
Wednesday, July 18: Davey O'Brien Award
Thursday, July 19: Doak Walker Award
Friday, July 20: Walter Camp Award
Media Contact: Justin Dickens (734) 763-4423