PRESS RELEASE UTSA's Maka named to Rotary Lombardi Award preseason watch list

Javi C

Dec 20, 2012
San Antonio, TX
HOUSTON — UTSA senior Ahofitu Maka has been named to the preseason watch list for the Rotary Lombardi Award®, the Rotary Club of Houston announced on Monday.

Maka, a center from Honolulu, Hawai’i, is one of 77 players — including one of six from Conference USA — who will compete for the award given annually to the college football offensive or defensive lineman, who in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the character and discipline of NFL Hall of Fame Head Coach Vince Lombardi.

Last week, Maka was named to the preseason watch list for the Outland Trophy, which is awarded to the nation’s top interior lineman.

Maka has been a second-team all-conference selection at center in each of the last two seasons. He has started 37 career games, including 36 at center, as a Roadrunner after transferring from Independence Community College prior to the 2019 campaign.

Over the last two seasons, he has allowed only two sacks in more than 500 pass-blocking snaps, according to Pro Football Focus, as the leader on the offensive line that has paved the way for a record-setting unit.

In 2020, UTSA broke single-season program records for rushing yards (2,585), rushing yards per game (215.4), yards per rush (5.21) and rushing touchdowns (24). Maka surrendered just one sack and three hits on the quarterback in 430 pass-blocking snaps that season.

Last fall, Maka started all 14 contests at center, allowing just one sack and three hits on the quarterback in 471 pass-blocking snaps according to Pro Football Focus. He helped pave the way for an offense that set school records for total yards (6,146), total yards per game (439.0), passing yards (3,577), passing yards per game (255.5), points scored (516) and points per game (36.9).

Also an excellent student, Maka is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree, a three-time C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll member, a 2021 C-USA All-Academic Team pick and a C-USA Academic Medal recipient.

To be considered for the Rotary Lombardi Award, players must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a down lineman, end to end, either on offense or defense, setting up no further than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball at the time of the snap.
  • Be a linebacker on defense, setting up no further than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage.
  • Must not come out of the offensive backfield and set up on the line of scrimmage as a blocker or a receiver or listed in the program as an offensive back or receiver.
  • Be eligible to participate in the current season.

A mid-season watch list will be released on Oct 15 to reflect any updates to the current list. Semifinalists will be announced Nov. 10 and four finalists will be unveiled on Nov. 22. The 2022 Rotary Lombardi Award® winner will be announced on Dec. 7.

UTSA will open its 12th season of play and third under 2021 C-USA Coach of the Year Jeff Traylor on Sept. 3 against Houston. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at the Alamodome in a game that will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.

Tickets are on sale now by calling or texting 210-458-UTSA (8872) or visiting

2022 Rotary Lombardi Award Preseason Watch List

Jayson Ademilola, Notre Dame, S-Sr DL

Praise Amaewhule, UTEP, Rs, Jr DE

Darren Anders, Bowling Green, Sr ILB

Will Anderson Jr., Alabama, Jr OLB

Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas State, Jr DE

Clark Barrington, BYU, Jr LG

Abraham Beauplan, Marshall, Sr LB

Cooper Beebe, Kansas State, Jr OL

Kivon Bennett, Arkansas State, Rs Sr LB

Brock Bowers, Georgia, So TE

Dwayne Boyles, USF, Sr LB

Bryan Bresse, Clemson, Rs So DT

Nick Broeker, Ole Miss, Sr OG

Jack Campbell, Iowa, Sr LB

Jalen Carter, Georgia, Jr DL

Andre Carter II, Army, Jr OLB

Caleb Chandler, Louisville, Rs Sr G

Elijah Chatman, SMU, Sr DT

Braeden Daniels, Utah, Jr RT

KD Davi, North Texas, Sr LB

SirVocea Dennis, Pittsburgh, Sr LB

Brandon Dorlus, Oregon, Jr DE

Trevor Downing, Iowa State, Rs Sr C

Cory Durden, North Carolina State, Rs Sr DT/DE

Jordan Ferguson, Middle Tennessee, Rs Sr DE

Alex Forsyth, Oregon, Sr C

Isaiah Foskey, Notre Dame, Sr DE

Zach Frazier, West Virginia, So C

Blake Freeland, BYU, Jr LT

Connor Galvin, Baylor, Sr OT

Ali Gaye, LSU, Rs Sr DE

Tyler Grubbs, Louisiana Tech, So LB

Derick Hall, Auburn, Sr Edge

Zach Harrison Ohio State Sr DE

Nick Herbig, Wisconsin, Jr OLB

Jamal Hines, Toledo, Sr OLB

Cooper Hodges, Appalachian State, Rs Jr OT

Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State, Jr OT

Dawand Jones, Ohio State, Sr OT

Viliami Junior Fehoko, San Jose State, Jr DE

Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh, Rs Jr DT

Jaxson Kirkland, Washington, Sr OT

Willie Lampki, Coastal Carolina, Jr C

Sam LaPorta, Iowa, Sr TE

Ahofitu Maka, UTSA, Sr C

Carlton Martian, Troy, Sr LB

Brock Marti, Oklahoma State, S-Sr DE

Michael Mayer, Notre Dame, Jr TE

Caden McDonald, San Diego State, Sr LB

Will McDonald IV, Iowa State, Rs Sr DE

Jordan McFadden, Clemson, Rs Sr OT

Lorenz Metz, Cincinnati, Sr OG

Wyatt Milum, West Virginia, So OT

Myles Murphy, Clemson, Jr DE

Chris Murray, Oklahoma, Rs Sr OG

PJ Mustipher, Penn State, S-Sr DT

Chris Ojoh, New Mexico State, Sr LB

Olu Oluwatimi, Michigan, S-Sr C

Jarrett Patterson, Notre Dame, Gr-S OL

Patrick Paul, Houston, So OT

David Perales, Fresno State, Sr DE

Bumper Pool, Arkansas, Rs Sr LB

Layden Robinson, Texas A&M, Sr OG

John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota, S-Sr C

Noah Sewell, Oregon, So LB

Trenton Simpson, Clemson, Jr LB

Peter Skoronski, Northwestern, Jr OT

Jacob Slade, Michigan State, Rs Sr DT

Nolan Smith, Georgia, Sr LB

Javon Solomon, Troy, So LB

Josaiah Steward, Coastal Carolina, So Bandit

Dante Stills, West Virginia, S-Sr DL

Ron Stonen Jr., Washington State, Rs Jr Edge

Henry To'oTo'o, Alabama, Sr ILB

O'Cyrus Torrence, Florida, Jr OL

Tuli Tuipulotu, USC, Jr DT

Andrew Vorhees, USC, Rs Sr OG