Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright wins Lombardi Award as nation's best lineman



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Arizona's Scooby Wright III poses with the Lombardi trophy Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014, in Houston. Wright won the Lombardi Award on Wednesday night as the nation's best lineman. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)


FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2014, file photo, Arizona's Scooby Wright III, left, strips the ball from Oregon's Marcus Mariota during the fourth quarter of a NCAA Collage Football game in Eugene, Ore. The two teams meet on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in the Pac-12 Championship game in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/The Register-Guard)


HOUSTON — Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright won the Lombardi Award on Wednesday night as the nation's best lineman.

The sophomore edged Clemson senior defensive end Vic Beasley, Washington senior linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha and Ohio State sophomore defensive end Joey Bosa for the award presented by the Rotary Club of Houston.

Wright won the Bronko Nagurski Award on Monday night as the top college defensive player, and was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. He's also in the running for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.

"It's a great honor, but it's representative of the University of Arizona defense and the whole program," Wright said about winning the Nagurski and Lombardi Awards.

The first Arizona player to win the Lombardi, Wright is driven by being snubbed by coaches out of high school, with the Wildcats the only Division I school to offer him a scholarship.

"It's definitely fueled me," Wright said. "At times you don't feel like working out and doing stuff, you always have to prove guys wrong. People said I was not going to be an impact player in the Pac-12. I even had some college coaches tell me to look at JUCO. The only Division I offer was from the University of Arizona. I'm just enjoying it."

Wright said his two favorite plays this season were sacking Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota and against rival Arizona State, stripping the ball before scooping it up and scoring on the first drive.

With the whirlwind of award ceremonies, Wright was still trying to get in a workout Wednesday night, but he was enjoying the experiences.

"I'm having fun with it," Wright said. "I want to get back to working out and back to practice."

The 6-foot-1, 246-pound linebacker has 89 solo tackles — 27 tackles for losses — and 14 sacks to help the 12th-ranked Wildcats (10-3) earn a spot in the Fiesta Bowl against Boise State.

"There's a lot of great players who went to the University of Arizona, so I am not going to compare myself to those players yet," Wright said. "I have to get more film study and just getting better every day. I have a lot of things I want to improve on for next season and the bowl game."

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