Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, has won the Lombardi Award.
Hutchinson was one of four finalists for the award presented Wednesday night in Houston. The other finalists: Kenyon Green, offensive lineman, Texas A&M, Mike Rose, linebacker from Iowa State and Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum.
It is presented to the offensive or defensive lineman or linebacker who in addition to outstanding performance and ability on the field, best exemplifies the character and discipline of NFL Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi.
He is a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, which will be presented Saturday night in New York.
Hutchinson is Michigan’s first Lombardi winner since LaMarr Woodley in 2006. Hutchinson set the single-season sack record with year with 14, breaking the record of 12 held by Woodley and David Bowens.
His father, Chris Hutchinson, a 1992 Michigan captain and All-American, presented his son with the finalist plaque before the winner was announced. Chris Hutchinson had 11 sacks that season, previously second all-time at Michigan, before Aidan Hutchinson moved past him.
“None of my success on that field — he talked about the broken records, but I can’t break any of those records without my teammates doing their jobs on every single one of those plays,” Aidan Hutchinson said in his acceptance speech. “I couldn’t be more grateful for them and proud they’re doing their jobs and I’m receiving the fruits from it.”
He thanked his parents and sisters and teammates, and Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh and position coach Shaun Nua for being coaches who have “inspired” him.
“They’ve really made a mark on my life in regards to football and in regards to life and giving life lessons,” Hutchinson said. “I’m so grateful for them really guiding me on this journey through football and life.”