Saturday, November 28, 2009
LOTT TROPHY NAMES FOUR FINALISTS
Newport Beach, Ca. – The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has announced the four finalists for the 2009 Lott Trophy.
They are Safety Eric Berry of Tennessee, Defensive End Jerry Hughes of TCU, Linebacker Rolando McClain of Alabama and Defensive Tackle Ndaumkong Suh of Nebraska.
The sixth annual Lott Trophy Banquet will be held Dec. 13 at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Ca. where the winner will be announced. All four finalists will be invited to the banquet where the keynote speaker will be Peter Ueberroth. Fox Sports will televise the event live.
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.
The four finalists have been highly recommended for their off-field endeavors as well as their accomplishments on the field.
Berry is a junior from Fairburn, Georgia who was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore and is widely considered the best defensive back in the country. He was twice selected the Lott Player of the Week this season. “Players gravitate to him,” says Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin.
Hughes is a senior from Sugar Land, Texas who was converted from a high school running back to defense as a freshman. He was the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year last season when he led the country in sacks with 15. This year, in addition to his continued stellar play on the field, he has been honored as a local hero for his community involvement in the Fort Worth area.
McClain is a junior from Decatur, Georgia who is the driving force on an Alabama defense that has been superb in leading the Crimson Tide to an undefeated (12-0) season. He has matured into a team captain and academic standout.
Suh is a 300-pound senior from Portland, Oregon who has been the dominant defensive player in the country, credited with 22 quarterback hurries and 16 tackles for losses. He’s been named the Lott Player of the Week a record three times this season.
It is the first time Tennessee, TCU and Nebraska have had a finalist for the Lott Trophy. Alabama’s DeMeco Ryans won the award in 2005.
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.