Michael Sam nominated for best defensive player in the country - KMOV.com

Michael Sam nominated for best defensive player in the country

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

(MU Football App) – Michael Sam, Mizzou’s standout senior defensive end, has had a tremendous season. His 10 sacks in 2013 are 1.5 short of the school season record. He leads the SEC in that category as well as tackles for a loss.  

Nationally, he is in the top eight for both.

Video: Michael Sam Highlights

Sam’s tremendous season has helped Mizzou to a 9-1 season and he currently anchors the third best scoring defense in the SEC.

Now, award voters are taking notice. Sam has been nominated as a finalist for two national defensive awards.

The Rotary Lombardi Award is presented to the best defensive lineman or linebacker in the country, and Sam joins Anthony Barr (LB, UCLA), Aaron Donald (DT, Pittsburgh) and fellow SEC member CJ Mosley (LB, Alabama) as a final candidate.

Sam also shares finalist honors with Mosley for another (and perhaps more prestigious) award.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is awarded to the best defensive player in the county, and Sam is one of the final five players chosen by the Football Writers Association of America.

Along with Sam and Mosley, Darqueze Denard (LB, Michigan State), Aaron Donald (DT, Pittsburgh) and Lamarcus Joyner (DB, Florida State) finish as the best defensive players in the nation according to the FWAA.

Sam is the second player in Mizzou history to be nominated for the award. DE Justin Smith was nominated in 2000 after his junior year.

The Nagurski Trophy will be awarded December 9, and the Lombardi Award is handed out December 11. 

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