Ohio State sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa is closing in on the school record for sacks in a season, and now he has a shot to pick up a prestigious award.
Bosa was named one of four finalists for the Rotary Lombardi Award, with the winner set to be announced Dec. 10 in Houston. The award is presented annually to the best lineman or linebacker in the nation.
The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native has tallied 11.5 sacks through 10 games this season, needing just 2.5 more to tie Vernon Gholston’s school record of 14. Bosa’s sack numbers put him on top of the Big Ten, while he also leads the conference in with 17 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. He’s also in the top 10 nationally for both sacks and tackles for loss this season.
Bosa has helped lead a Buckeye defense that has given up 323.9 total yards per game this season, good for 17th in the country. OSU is 9-1 overall and 6-0 in the Big Ten, thanks in part to a game-clinching sack by Bosa on the final play of a double-overtime win against Penn State on Oct. 25 in State College, Pa.
The other three finalists for the award are Clemson senior defensive lineman Vic Beasley, Washington senior linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha and Arizona sophomore linebacker Scooby Wright III.
The most recent of five Buckeyes to win the award was A.J. Hawk in 2005. In total OSU has had a player win the award six times as Orlando Pace won it in both 1995 and 1996. The program’s most recent finalist for the award was James Laurinaitis in both 2007 and 2008.
OSU’s most recent major postseason award winner was Malcolm Jenkins, who won the Thorpe Award in 2008.
Bosa and the Buckeyes are scheduled to play Indiana on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon.