Ayers Named to Rotary Lombardi Watch List Bruin Standout Linebacker Honored #10 Akeem Ayers Football Home April 29, 2010 UCLA junior linebacker Akeem Ayers was named to the preliminary watch list for the 2010 Rotary Lombardi Award on Thursday. Ayers started all 13 games last season at strongside linebacker and tied a school record with two interception returns for touchdowns. He scored a third touchdown, a year ago, on a fumble return. Ayers was second on the team in both sacks (6.0) and tackles for loss (14.5). Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. The candidates earned a place on the preliminary watch list by earning All-American honors or by being named to their respective all-conference first team as selected by the coaches. The Rotary Lombardi committee is comprised of more than 500 members, including all past winners and finalists, all Division 1-A head coaches and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. Last year's winner was Ndamukong Suh from Nebraska. SEE HIS STATS BELOW! Akeem Ayers Class: RS Junior Hometown: Los Angeles, CA High School: Verbum Dei Height / Weight: 6-4 / 254 Position: LB Birthdate: 07/10/1989 Experience: 3V UCLA - This talented junior possesses the overall athletic ability and speed to earn All-America honors in 2010 ... Last year, he demonstrated his ability to make the big play ... One of the top returning outside linebackers in the nation, he has already scored three defensive touchdowns in his young career ... He will be one of the defensive cornerstones this year. 2009 - Started all 13 games at strongside linebacker ... Named honorable mention All-Pac-10 ... First-team Sophomore All-America selection by CollegeFootballNews.com ... Tied a UCLA season record with two touchdowns on interceptions and scored three defensive touchdowns in all (one fumble return) ... Led the team with four forced fumbles (T-3rd in Pac-10) ... Second on the team with 6.0 sacks (T-10th in Pac-10) and 14.5 tackles for loss (5th in Pac-10) ... Ended the season with 30 tackles, 4.0 sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions in the final four games of the season ... Opener the year with two tackles versus San Diego State ... Had three stops at Tennessee ... Made five tackles at Kansas State, 2.0 sacks and a third tackle for loss ... Totaled seven tackles at Stanford and forced and recovered a fumble which led to a field goal ... Made a leaping interception in the end zone for a touchdown and was credited with four tackles against Oregon ... Four tackles against Cal ... Tied for the team lead with eight stops, one for loss, at Arizona and tipped a lateral that resulted in a touchdown return by Tony Dye ... Eight tackles, one for loss, at Oregon State ... Made four tackles versus Washington ... Made interceptions on WSU's first and third possessions, setting up a pair of Bruin touchdowns ... Credited with two tackles for loss and made four tackles against the Cougars while earning his first Pac-10 Player of the Week accolades ... Led the team with eight tackles against Arizona State, including two sacks, and a third tackle for loss ... Returned a fumble for a touchdown and forced two fumbles during the contest ... Established a new career-best with nine tackles against USC, including 2.5 for loss ... Led the team with nine stops in the bowl win over Temple ... Scored his third touchdown of the season when he intercepted a pass at the two-yard line and ran it in to give the Bruins the lead with 6:01 remaining in the game ... Named co-defensive winner of UCLA's Captain Don Brown Memorial Award for Most Improved Player. 2008 - Appeared in 12 games with three starts at strongside linebacker (BYU, Oregon, Oregon State) ... Named to rivals.com Pac-10 All-Freshman team ... Earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 from the league's coaches ... Was the defensive co-winner of UCLA's John Boncheff, Jr. Memorial Award for Rookie of the Year ... Tied for 19th in the Pac-10 in sacks (0.3) ... Saw his first career action on special teams vs. Tennessee ... Was credited with one tackle and a punt block which was returned for a touchdown ... Started at BYU and made five tackles ... Made three stops vs. Arizona in nickel situations ... Made three tackles vs. Fresno, including an 11-yard sack ... Three stops vs. WSU ... Started at Oregon and made six tackles, including a 12-yard sack ... Made four stops, one for loss, vs. Stanford ... Also had four stops vs. Oregon State ... Made two tackles at Washington, both sacks, one of which caused a fumble ... One tackle at ASU ... Tied his career-best with six tackles against USC. 2007 - Did not see action in his first year with the program and has two years of eligibility remaining. HIGH SCHOOL - Lettered three seasons at Verbum Dei HS in Los Angeles for coach Kendrick Knox ... Played defensive end, linebacker and wide receiver ... PrepStar All-American ... SuperPrep All-American ... Named four-star recruit as a DE by rivals.com and scout.com ... Rated No. 50 player in nation by scout.com ... Rated No. 1 DE and No. 9 player in California by scout.com ... Ranked No. 9 among outside linebackers by rivals.com ... Member of Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West first team ...Named first-team All-State (Small Schools) by Cal-Hi Sports ... CIF-Southern Section Mid Valley Defensive Player of the Year ... Led Verbum Dei to CIF Mid-Valley title ... As an outside linebacker, he made 94 tackles, including 22 versus Temple City ... Made two quarterback sacks ... Totaled 21 receptions for 413 yards and nine touchdowns on offense ... Returned 20 kickoffs for 626 yards ... As a junior, made Cal-Hi Sports All-State (Small Schools) first team and All-CIF-SS Division XI first team ... Made 116 tackles, 23 sacks, 15 other tackles for loss, an interception and five fumble recoveries ... On offense, made 19 receptions for 441 yards and seven touchdowns ... As a sophomore, he was credited with 87 tackles, 18 sacks and two blocked punts ... On offense, he caught four passes for 132 yards. PERSONAL - Full Name: Akeem Christopher Ayers ... Born: July 10, 1989 in Los Angeles, CA ... Parent: Latonya King ... Has one brother, Kevin, and one sister, Jonnoe ... Biggest thrill was winning CIF championship as a senior ... Hobbies include art and basketball ... Director's Honor Roll in Fall 2007 ... History major. Statistics Tackles Year TT T-AT Sacks TFL INT 2008 40 28-12 4.0-38 5.0-43 0 2009 75 55-20 6.0-34 14.5-56 4-10 (2) Totals 115 83-32 10.0-72 19.5-99 4-10 (2) CAREER HIGHS Tackles: 9 vs. Temple, 2009; at USC, 2009 Sacks: 2 multiple times, last vs. WSU, 2009 Tackles for Loss: 3 vs. Arizona State, 2009; Kansas State, 2009 The 41st Rotary Lombardi Award presentation will be held on December 7-8, 2010 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX. For more information on the award visit the website at www.rotarylombardiaward.org. Ayers and the Bruins return to action this season on Sept. 4 at Kansas State.