NEWPORT BEACH, CA. – The Lott Trophy, the only collegiate football award where character counts, has announced its four finalists for 2008.
Linebacker Aaron Curry of Wake Forest, Linebacker James Laurinaitis of Ohio State, Defensive End Brian Orakpo of Texas and Defensive Back Myron Rolle of Florida State are this season’s finalists, chosen from an initial Watch List of 42 outstanding student-athletes throughout the country, who have all performed at a high level on the football field and exhibited selfless character off the field.
The winner will be announced at a black-tie banquet at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Ca. Dec. 14.
Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, The Lott Trophy is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Now in its fifth year, The Lott Trophy is the first and only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.
Sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, the Lott award is given to a player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
The four finalists:
*Curry (6-3, 240, Sr., Fayetteville, NC): Has 101 tackles on the season and 16 tackles for loss. Curry has successfully combined his academics and football during his career at Wake Forest.
*Laurinaitis (6-3, 244, Sr., Hamel, Mn.): A Lott finalist last year, he has won the Butkus and Nagurski awards in previous seasons. Laurinaitis is a two-time Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time Ohio State captain. He led the Buckeyes in tackles again this season with 121.
*Orakpo (6-4, 260, Sr., Houston): Twice named the Lott Player of the Week this season. Orakpo has 10 sacks and 16 tackles for losses. He’s been on the Texas honor roll.
*Rolle (6-2, 218, Jr., Galloway, NJ): Named winner of a Rhodes Scholarship on Nov. 22. A grad student in public administration, he has a 3.71 GPA. He is second on the Seminole team with 46 tackles, has 5 passes defended and 5 passes broken up.
David Pollack of Georgia, DeMeco Ryans of Alabama, Dante Hughes of Cal and Glenn Dorsey of LSU were the winners of the first four Lott Trophies. Georgia, Alabama, Cal and LSU each received $25,000 for their general scholarship funds. In four years, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has donated $450,000 to various charities, including the universities. Each finalist receives $5,000 for his school’s general scholarship fund.
Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, the Board of Directors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation and Legends Coaches, a distinguished group of former head college coaches.
For more information on the Lott Trophy, go to: thelotttrophy.com