Herd’s Hunter, Van Horn on Lombardi Watch List

Special to HNN Provided by Herd Zone

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall linebacker D.J. Hunter and offensive tackle Clint Van Horn were named Tuesday to the watch list for the 2015 Rotary Lombardi Award, a national honor presented annually to a major college football lineman or linebacker.


Hunter, of Middletown, Ohio, and Van Horn, of Beckley, W.Va., are senior stars for the Herd and all-Conference USA picks. The preseason Lombardi Award Watch List includes 146 players. The award is presented by the Harris County (Texas)/Houston Sports Authority.


Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award – named for the Pro Football Hall of Fame coach, Vince Lombardi -- 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 from the line of scrimmage.


Hunter is the Herd’s strongside linebacker and enters the 2015 season with 28 career starts, the most for any returning player in Coach Doc Holliday’s program. In Marshall’s 13-1 Conference USA title season of 2014, Hunter’s 80 tackles ranked fourth among the Herd, and included 10 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.


The 6-foot, 214-pound Hunter has 232 career tackles – tops among 2015 Marshall players – with 15 tackles for loss. His career single-game high is 18 tackles in a 2012 season-ending loss at East Carolina.


Hunter received his MU undergraduate degree in management last December.


Van Horn, an All-Conference USA first team selection last season, also was named to the Outland Trophy Watch List last week. That honor goes to the nation’s top down lineman.


Marshall’s starting right tackle played 1,035 offensive snaps in 2014, finishing with a team-best 92 knockdowns in 14 games. The 6-5, 310-pound Van Horn played every snap in the final four games of the nationally ranked Herd’s season. He has 22 career starts and is a repeat selection on the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List. He was an all-conference second team selection as a sophomore in 2013.


Van Horn earned his undergraduate degree in political science this May.


The Lombardi Award Watch List selections for Van Horn and Hunter bring to five the number of 2015 preseason mentions for the Herd on national honor watch lists. Besides the aforementioned Outland Trophy list selection of Van Horn, Marshall also has running back Devon Johnson on the Maxwell Award Watch List and center Michael Selby on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy.


The 46th Rotary Lombardi Award presentation will be held Dec. 9 at the Bayou Music Center in Houston. Proceeds from the Rotary Lombardi Awards stay in the Houston community and benefit the American Cancer Society, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centers/Children’s Cancer Hospital, and Texas Children’s Cancer Center.


For more information on the Rotary Lombardi Award, please visit www.rotarylombardiaward.org.

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