For the second straight year, Auburn senior defensive end Quentin Groves has been named to the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, it was announced Tuesday.
Groves is one of nine players to return to the watch list, which has 43 players overall. Eligibility for the Lombardi Award is limited to defensive linemen and players who line up within five yards of the line of scrimmage.
The Greenville, Miss., native returns for his senior season after finishing with a team-leading 9.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss to go with 37 total tackles last year.
He earned Coaches and Associated Press All-SEC First Team honors and was a Rivals.com Third-Team All-American. Groves was named the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week as well as the SEC's Defensive Player of the Week after finishing with three sacks and two quarterback hurries in Auburn's 27-17 victory over Florida on Oct. 14.
He followed that up with SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors after two first-half sacks and seven total tackles in the Tigers' 22-15 victory at Alabama.
Groves has 23 sacks in 40 career games, which places him second in Auburn history, behind only Gerald Robinson, who had 26 from 1982-85.
The Rotary Lombardi Watch List will be narrowed down to 12 semifinalists by a selection committee before the 38th annual winner will be honored on Dec. 5 at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston.