Wednesday, November 11, 2009
LOTT TROPHY NAMES EIGHT SEMI-FINALISTS
Newport Beach, Ca. – The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has announced the eight semi-finalists for the 2009 Lott Trophy.
The list includes two safeties, two defensive tackles, one linebacker and three defensive ends.
The eight semi-finalists are: Safety Eric Berry of Tennessee (a semi-finalist last year), Safety Taylor Mays of USC, Defensive Tackle Ndaumkong Suh of Nebraska, Defensive Tackle Gerald McCoy of Oklahoma, Linebacker Rolando McClain of Alabama, Defensive End Sam Acho of Texas, Defensive End Jerry Hughes of TCU and Defensive End Eric Norwood of South Carolina.
Ballots will be sent to over 300 members of the Lott Trophy National Voter Panel, a list that includes Hall of Fame coaches and players, select members of the media and distinguished business leaders throughout the country.
The four finalists will be announced Nov. 24 and they will travel to the sixth annual Lott Trophy Banquet Dec. 13 where the winner will be announced.
A look at the eight semi-finalists:
Eric Berry (Safety, Jr., Tennessee, 5-11, 195, Fairburn, Ga.): Has 14 career interceptions and 494 return yards, second most in NCAA history. Consensus All-American and SEC Defensive Player of the Year last season. Lott Player of the Week twice. “That guy is one of the most dominant players in the country. There is no better safety in college football today.” - Former UCLA Coach Terry Donahue, a member of the Board of Directors of the IMPACT Foundation.
Taylor Mays (Safety, Sr., USC, 6-4, 225, Seattle): All-American his last two seasons at Southern California. Team captain. Lott Player of the Week against Cal. “Taylor Mays is a man of character and integrity. His leadership skills are demonstrated on and off the field.” - Mimi Butler, USC Student Athlete Academic Services.
Gerald McCoy (DT, Jr., Oklahoma, 6-4, 300, Oklahoma City): All-American and team captain. Has 12 tackles for losses this season. “One of the most outstanding young men I have been honored to coach. He is a young man focused on goodness in his own life and in finding ways to spread it to others.” - Bob Stoops, Head Football Coach, Oklahoma.
Ndamukong Suh (DT, Sr., Nebraska, 6-4, 300, Portland, Oregon): Has blocked three kicks this year. Lott Player of the Week twice. Eleven tackles for losses. ” I have had the good fortune to work with a number of outstanding players, great leaders and men of excellent character. I can assure you that Ndamukong Suh ranks right near the top of that list when you evaluate his total impact on our football program.” - Bo Pelini, Head Coach, Nebraska.
Rolando McClain (LB, Jr., Alabama, 6-4, 249, Decatur, Ga.): Leads undefeated Tide in tackles with 66. “He is the best defensive player I have seen this year. No, make that the best defensive player I’ve seen in many years.” – Former Auburn Head Coach Pat Dye.
Sam Acho (DE, Jr., Texas, 6-3, 260, Dallas): Leads nation with four fumbles recovered*26 tackles, 5 sacks, 8 tackles for losses*Texas Athletic Director’s Honor Roll four straight times*Academic All-District in ‘09*Went on medical mission to Nigeria with his father and brother this past summer* “Sam stands out to me as an especially accomplished and earnest student-athlete. Quite simply, he is a great young man—and a tremendous football player.” - William Powers, Jr., President, University of Texas
Jerry Hughes (DE, Sr., TCU, 6-3, 267, Sugar Land, Texas): Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year last season when he led the country in sacks with 15. Has nine sacks this year for undefeated TCU. “Jerry Hughes is among the very few… Few who have the integrity to always, without fail, select the right path. Instead, he is an encourager who motivates and uplifts others.—Le Ann Roberts, Communications Studies, TCU.
Eric Norwood (DE, Sr., South Carolina, 6-0, 249, Acworth, Ga.): “Has 62 tackles, seven sacks (28 in his career with 51.5 tackles for losses). Team captain. “He’s the way we want our student-athletes to be, I think he epitomizes it. I can talk forever about him, that’s how strongly I feel about him and his character.” - Raymond M. Harrison, Jr., Director of Academics and Life Skills, University of South Carolina.
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 sixth year, the Lott Trophy is the first college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.
Sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation in Newport Beach, the award is given to the player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Past winners of The Lott Trophy:
2004 – David Pollack, Georgia
2005 – DeMeco Ryans, Alabama
2006 – Dante Hughes, California
2007 – Glenn Dorsey, LSU
2008 – James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
In five years, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has donated more than $650,000 to various charities, including $25,000 to each of the winners’ universities.
Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, the Board of Directors of the IMPACT Foundation, the IMPACT Foundation Board of Advisors comprised of retired NFL players and the Legends Coaches, a distinguished group of former college head coaches.
Named after Pro Football Hall of Fame member, Ronnie Lott, The Lott Trophy is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Founded in 2004 by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, The Lott Trophy is the first and only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. The Lott Trophy is given to the player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity. Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, the Board of Directors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation and the Legends Coaches which is a distinguished group of former college football head coaches. The sixth annual Lott Trophy dinner will be held December 13th at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, California. For more information on The Lott Trophy visit: www.LottTrophy.com.