Notre Dame defensive end Ethan Johnson, tight end Kyle Rudolph and linebacker Manti Te’o were named to the preliminary watch list for the 2010 Rotary Lombardi Award, the university announced Thursday night.
The award goes to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage.
Johnson, who moved from tackle to end this season, led the Irish with four sacks last season. He also had 6 1/2 tackles for loss and 32 tackles.
Rudolph had 33 catches for 364 yards with three touchdowns in 10 games last year.
Te’o had 63 tackles with 57 of them coming in the final eight games when he became a fulltime starter.