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December 6, 2023

Mustipher Named a Semifinalist for Rotary Lombardi Award


Award honors a college football offensive or defensive lineman


HOUSTON – Penn State senior defensive tackle PJ Mustipher has been named a semifinalist for the The Rotary Lombardi Award®, it was announced on Wednesday. Mustipher is one of 12 semifinalists who will compete for this year’s award.


The Rotary Lombardi Award® goes annually to the college football offensive or defensive lineman, who in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the character and discipline of NFL Hall of Fame Head Coach Vince Lombardi.


PJ Mustipher · Sr. · DT · 6-4 · 323 · Owings Mills, Md. · McDonogh School


  • Mustipher anchors the Nittany Lion defensive line room, having appeared in 40 career games and making 16 starts.
  • Additionally on the watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy and Reese’s Senior Bowl.
  • Named an honorable mention All-Big Ten honoree by the coaches and media in 2020.
  • Earned Academic All-Big Ten honors.
  • Has appeared in 34 career games, making 10 starts.
  • Started all nine games at defensive tackle in 2020, making 35 tackles (12 solo), 1.5 tackles for loss, a sack, two QB hurries and a pass breakup.
  • Was named the coaching staff’s Defensive Player of the Week twice in 2020 (Maryland – 11/7; Michigan – 11/28).
  • Registered a career-high eight tackles vs. Ohio State (10/31/20).
  • Tallied seven tackles, including three solo, at Nebraska (11/14/20).
  • Tallied three tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack against Illinois (12/19/20).


To be considered for the Rotary Lombardi Award®, players must be a NCAA FBS College Football team member and meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a down Lineman, end to end, either on offense or defense, setting up no further than ten (10) yards to the left or right of the ball at the time of the snap.
  • Be a Linebacker on defense, setting up no further than five (5) yards deep from the line of scrimmage.
  • Must not come out of the offensive backfield and set up on the line of scrimmage as a Blocker or a Receiver or listed in the program as an Offensive Back or Receiver.
  • Be eligible to participate in the current season.


The second round of voting to reveal the final four finalists will commence on Oct 15th and the nominees will be revealed on November 9th at a special press conference in Houston, Texas at 10:00am CST.


Honorary Chair and Famed Green Bay Packer Jerry Kramer, 1987 Winner Chris Spielman, the Four nominees, and their Coaches will attend the award ceremony on December 8th event in Houston Texas.

The winner will add their name to a notable list of past winners such as Ndamukong Suh, Aaron Taylor, Julius Peppers, Terrell Suggs, Aaron Donald, and two-time winner Orlando Pace.


Just weeks after Coach Vince Lombardi’s 1970 death from colon cancer, the Rotary Club of Houston was authorized by Lombardi’s widow, Marie, to establish the Rotary Lombardi Award®.


As stipulated by Mrs. Lombardi, net proceeds from the Award’s activities are contributed to Cancer Research and specifically the American Cancer Society’s programs.


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