The Rotary Lombardi Award is awarded annually to the best college football lineman or linebacker. The Lombardi Award program was approved by the Rotary Club in Houston in 1970 shortly after the death of Vince Lombardi, for whom the Super Bowl trophy is also named. The committee outlined the criteria for eligibility for the award, which remains in place to this day. A player should be a down lineman on either offense or defense or a linebacker who lines up no farther than five yards deep from the ball. The main part of the trophy is a block of Granite, paying homage to Lombardi's college days at Fordham University as an offensive lineman when his offensive line was referred to as the "7 Blocks of Granite." A nominee must show leadership, courage, desire, respect for authority and discipline.
The voting electorate is made up of the head coaches from all Division I schools, sports media personnel from across the country, and former winners and finalists of the Rotary Lombardi Award. Currently the total number of voters is approximately 500. The Ohio State University currently holds the record for most Lombardi awards with 6.
In 2011 the Detroit Lions became the first ever NFL team to select a Lombardi Award winner in two consecutive NFL Drafts. Ndamukong Suh, 2nd overall in 2010, and Nick Fairley, 13th overall in 2011.