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Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright wins Lombardi Award

Arizona sophomore linebacker Scooby Wright -- in the top three in the nation in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks -- won the Lombardi Award, which is given to the nation's top lineman or linebacker.

Wright earlier was given the Nagurski Award for being the nation's top defensive player; oddly, he was not a finalist for the Butkus Award, which goes to the top linebacker. The other Lombardi finalists were Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley, Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa and Washington linebacker/defensive end Hau'oli Kikaha.

Wright's style of play has been compared to former Arizona State star Pat Tillman by former Sun Devils and NFL quarterback Jake Plummer.

"You can't help but love watching Scooby Wright play, whether you're a Sun Devil or not," Plummer said on Phoenix's KMVP-FM last month. "If you're a football fan, get over your hatred for the Wildcats and watch this cat play. He's amazing. I find myself watching him during the whole game because the dude's just reckless and crazy. He reminds me of Pat Tillman, a guy that played recklessly."

Wright also is a finalist for the Bednarik Award, which also goes to the nation's top defender (the other finalists are Beasley and Bosa), and for the Walter Camp Award, which goes to the nation's top player (the other finalists are TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin, Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper, Wisconsin tailback Melvin Gordon and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota).

Wright (6-foot-1, 246 pounds) leads the nation with 27 tackles for loss, is second with 153 tackles and is third with 14 sacks. In addition, he is tied for the national lead with six forced fumbles. He is the only FBS player to rank even in the top 25 of all those categories. Wright -- who started as a true freshman last season -- and the Wildcats meet Boise State in the Dec. 31 Fiesta Bowl.

Past winners of the Lombardi Award include Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald last year, Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly in 2011, Arizona State's Terrell Suggs in 2002 and Ohio State's Orlando Pace in 1996; Pace is the most recent offensive lineman to win the award.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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