Mackey is one of 11 players from Conference USA teams, and he is the lone representative from the state of Louisiana to make the make the list.
A native of Port Sulphur, La., Mackey transferred to Tulane from Duke prior to the 2009 campaign and played his first season for the Green Wave in 2010. During his rookie season with Tulane, Mackey was named to the All-Conference USA second team following a vote by the league’s head coaches, was tabbed to the All C-USA first team by Phil Steele publica-tions and was named the Louisiana Football Newcomer of the Year.
A year ago, Mackey was one of the nation’s leaders in tackles. He started every game and logged 124 tackles (63 solo), ranking third among C-USA players and 17th nationally. Mackey ranked among the nation’s top-20 the entire season, including two weeks at No. 1. He notched 10-plus tackles in eight of 12 games, including a career-best 17 (10 solo, 7 assists) vs. Army, and earned C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors after tallying 13 stops the first week of the season.
Mackey was the first player to record 100 tackles in a single season since 2005 (Anthony Cannon) and notched the most since 2003 (133 by Tra Boger). He tied for the lead in forced fumbles (3), ranked third in tackles for loss (7.5-17), tied for third in fumble recoveries (1) and had one interception against Rice.
Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense of defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, and linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. All candidates also must be eligible to play college sports under the rules and regulations of the Na-tional Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
The candidates earned a place on the Official Watch List by earning All-American honors last season, by being named to their respective all-conference first team last season as selected by the conference’s head coaches, by being projected to be an All-American or first team all-conference player for the coming season, or by nomination approved by the nominations committee.
While the Watch List highlights those players who have already received national recognition, any Division IA player who meets the above requirements is eligible for consideration from the Rotary Lombardi Award Selection Committee. This committee is comprised of more than 500 members, including all past winners and finalists, all Division IA head coaches, and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, intended as a reference tool for the Selection Committee, will be periodically updated and revised up to the first round of voting to determine the 12 Semifinalists for 2011.
Last year’s Rotary Lombardi Award winner, Nick Fairley (Auburn), was drafted by the Detroit Lions and Finalist Adrian Clayborn (Iowa) was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both in the first round of the National Football League draft.
The 42nd Rotary Lombardi Award will be held on December 6-7, 2011 at Reliant Center in Houston, Texas. For more in-formation on the two-day schedule of events and ticket opportunities, please visit www.rotarylombardiaward.org.