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 only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.
The Lott Trophy Watch List consists of 42 of the nation’s top defensive players who have had the biggest IMPACT on their respective teams, both on and off the field.
The Lott Trophy is sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation. The award is given to a player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Alabama stars Rolando McClain and Terrence Cody led the nation’s second-best rush defense in 2008, allowing just 74.1 yards per game, and the No. 3 total defense at 263.5 yards per game. The Alabama defense did not allow an opposing running back to gain 100 yards all season and held opposing teams under 100 rushing yards in 11-of-14 games.
Cody was a consensus All-America selection from his nose guard position after making 24 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. He was a disruptive force anchoring the middle of the Tide defensive line. Cody was also a semifinalist for the 2008 Bednarik Award and a unanimous first-team All-SEC choice.
McClain, the Tide’s middle linebacker, led the team in total tackles with 95 and tackles for loss with 12 (-45 yards). He also registered three sacks, one interception, six pass breakups, two quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown. The 2008 Butkus Award finalist was a first-team All-SEC selection by both league coaches and the Associated Press while earning third-team All-America honors from the AP.
Alabama is one of four teams to have multiple candidates on the initial watch list, which consists of 42 players on 38 different teams across college football.
David Pollack of Georgia won the initial Lott Trophy in 2004. DeMeco Ryans of Alabama won the award in 2005, Daymeion Hughes of California was the recipient in 2006, Glenn Dorsey of LSU in 2007 and James Laurinaitis of Ohio State last year. Georgia, Alabama, California, LSU and Ohio State have each received $25,000 for their general scholarship funds.
In five years, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has now donated nearly $650,000 to various charities, including the four universities.
Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, the Board of Directors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, The IMPACT Foundation Board of Advisors comprised of many retired NFL players and Legends Coaches, a distinguished group of former head college coaches.
The winner will be announced at a gala black-tie banquet at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Calif. on December 13, 2009.