This year's Watch List is divided up nearly equally, with 58 offensive players and 64 defensive players who meet the playing criteria currently on the list. To be eligible for the Rotary Lombardi Award, a player may play on the line of scrimmage (including tight ends on offensive) or must be a linebacker who lines up within five yards of the football.
The 122 members of the Watch List earned a place on the Watch List by earning All-American honors at the end of the 2004 (or previous seasons), by being named to their respective All Conference team as selected by the conference's head coaches or by being named to one of the pre-season honor teams. Additional players will be added to the list, based on performance, prior to the start of the first round of voting at the end of September.
Mann is one of three returning starters on the 2005 edition of the NU offensive line. The Grand Island, Neb., native took over the starting center position last year during fall camp and started all 11 games. The Husker offensive line, which entered the 2004 season as a question mark, proved to be one of the strengths of a Nebraska offense that featured a balanced attack by averaging 186.9 yards per game through the air and 176.3 per contest on the ground. Mann earned honorable-mention All-Big 12 honors from the conference coaches following the season. He also is a standout in the classroom, carrying a 3.977 grade-point average in mechanized systems management. Mann claimed CoSIDA Academic All-District VII honors in 2004, while he also was named to the academic All-Big 12 First Team.
Nebraska opens the 2005 season this Saturday, Sept. 3, with a 6:10 p.m. game against Maine. The matchup will be televised on a pay-per-view basis. Check with your local cable or satellite provider for more information.