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Oct. 31, 2011

University of South Carolina senior defensive end Melvin Ingram has been named a national semifinalist for both the Rotary Lombardi and the Chuck Bednarik awards.

Ingram, a 6-2, 276-pounder from Hamlet, N.C., was a first-team Midseason All-American, according to Phil Steele. He is a three-time SEC Player of the Week this season and has scored three touchdowns. He is third in the SEC in sacks and tied for seventh in the league in tackles for loss.

The Rotary Lombardi Award is given annually to the best college football lineman or linebacker. A dozen players are considered semifinalists, including four from the SEC. The Bednarik Award is given to the nation’s Defensive Player of the Year. The semifinal list includes 16 candidates, six of whom are from the SEC.

Ingram and the Gamecocks (7-1, 5-1 SEC) will return to the Bluff Road practice fields Monday night at 7 pm as they begin preparations for Saturday’s contest at Arkansas (7-1, 3-1 SEC).

The Gamecocks are ranked 10th in both the Associated Press and USA TODAY/Coaches poll this week, and check in at No. 9 in the BCS Standings. The Razorbacks are ranked ninth in both major polls and are No. 7 in the BCS Standings. Game time is set for 7:15 p.m. at Razorback Stadium in Fayetteville. ESPN will televise the contest nationally with Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe serving as the announce team.