By Bob DiCesare
UB linebacker Khalil Mack received some more hardware for the trophy case with today's annoucement that he's the winner of the Jack Lambert Award presented annually by the Touchdown Club of Columbus to the nation's premier linebacker.
The award comes two days after Mack was named the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Year and about a month after he became just the second player in UB history selected to participate in the Senior Bowl. Mack also is a finalist for the Dick Butkus Award, with announcement of that winner coming on or before Tuesday. The Butkus Award also goes to the nation's top linebacker.
Mack is the first MAC linebacker to capture the Lambert Trophy, created in honor of former Kent State standout Jack Lambert. The award has a storied history. Past winners are:
|2011||Luke Kuechly||Boston College|
|2010||Von Miller||Texas A&M|
|2008||James Laurinaitis||Ohio State|
|2007||James Laurinaitis||Ohio State|
|2006||Patrick Willis||Ole Miss|
|2005||A.J. Hawk||Ohio State|
|2003||Jonathan Vilma||Miami (FL)|
|2000||Dan Morgan||Miami (FL)|
|1999||LaVar Arrington||Penn State|
|1998||Dat Nuygen||Texas A&M|
|1997||Andy Katzenmoyer||Ohio State|
|1994||Derrick Brooks||Florida State|
|1992||Marvis Jones||Florida State|
The Lambert Award will be presented to Mack during the Touchdown Club of Columbus awards dinner Feb. 8.
Mack set one NCAA career record and tied another during a standout senior season that has vaulted him into the upper tier in many NFL Draft projections. He set the record for career forced fumbles (14) when he produced three during UB's late-season victory over Miami (Ohio. He tied the career mark for tackles for loss (75) in the regular-season finale against Bowling Green and presumably will get a chance to take sole possession of the record in a postseason bowl game. UB expects to learn its bowl fate no later than Sunday night.