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Iowa's Brandon Scherff a semifinalist for Lombardi Award

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Justin Hayworth/Associated Press
Iowa's Brandon Scherff is considered one of the top offensive tackle prospects for the 2015 NFL Draft.

Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff and USC defensive end Leonard Williams are among the 12 semifinalists for the Lombardi Award, given annually to the nation's best lineman or linebacker.

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Scherff is one of just two offensive linemen among the semifinalists; the other is Auburn center Reese Dismukes.

Other defensive linemen joining Williams on the list are Clemson end Vic Beasley, Ohio State end Joey Bosa, Michigan State end Shilique Calhoun, Mississippi tackle Robert Nkemdiche, Utah end Nate Orchard and Missouri end Shane Ray. Linebackers on the list are Washington's Hau'oli Kikaha, Mississippi State's Benardrick McKinney and Arizona's Scooby Wright.

Kikaha leads the nation with 15.5 sacks, while Orchard, Ray and Wright are tied for second with 12. Bosa is sixth with 10. Wright also is tied for sixth in the nation in tackles, with 97.

Four finalists will be announced Nov. 17, and the award will be presented Dec. 10.

Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald won last season. The most recent offensive lineman to win the award was Ohio State offensive tackle Orlando Pace, in 1996. Since Pace was honored, 13 defensive linemen -- including Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh in 2009 and North Carolina's Julius Peppers in 2001 -- and four linebackers -- including Boston College's Luke Kuechly in 2011 and Ohio State's A.J. Hawk in 2005 -- have won the award.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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