The Lombardi Award is down to seven finalists after initial balloting whittled the candidate list from 21.
The finalists are 2017 Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma, 2016 Heisman-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson of Louisville, Stanford running back Bryce Love, Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, Iowa State linebacker/quarterback Joel Lanning and UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin.
The Lombardi Award, which previously was given to the top lineman or linebacker in the country, changed its criteria this year and is now open to players at any position based on performance, leadership, character and resiliency on and off the field.
Iowa State, Louisville, Stanford and UCF have never had a Lombardi winner. Oklahoma players have won the award three times, and Alabama and Penn State have two winners each.
The previous two recipients were Alabama’s Jonathan Allen in 2016 and Penn State’s Carl Nassib in 2015.