NEWPORT BEACH, Ca. - UCLA junior linebacker Akeem Ayers has bee named to the list of 23 quarter-finalists for the annual Lott IMPACT Trophy, the Pacific Club IMPACT* Foundation has announced today.
Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, the Lott is awarded to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Now in its seventh year, the Lott 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 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 quarter-finalists (alphabetically):
Sam Acho, DL, Texas, 6-3, 260, Dallas
Named to American Football Coaches Assn. Good Works Team and Semi-finalist for Campbell Trophy (scholastic achievement)...Has 7 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and fumble recovery this season...Takes medical mission trips to Nigeria
Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska, 6-1, 205, Phoenix, Az.
Considered one of top two cornerbacks in the country Director's Honor Roll at Nebraska...Will graduate in December...Has 20 tackles and leads team with 7 pass breakups.
Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA, 6-4, 252, Los Angeles
Lott IMPACT Player of the Week Sept. 25 for performance against Texas with interception, fumble recovery, two tackles for loss...Has two interceptions this season, two forced fumbles...Director's Honor Roll
Allen Bailey, DE, Miami, 6-4, 285, Georgia
Has 17 tackles, 3 for losses and one sack.
Mark Barron, S, Alabama, 6-2, 215, Mobile, Ala.
Lott IMPACT Player of the Week vs. Florida when he led team with 11 tackles. Leads Tide with 47 tackles. Has 2 interceptions, 2 sacks, 6 passes defended and a forced fumble.
Jeremy Beal, DE, Oklahoma, 6-3, 261, Carrollton, Tx
8.5 tackles for losses, leads team with 6 sacks...3 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Quinton Carter, DB, Oklahoma, 6-1, 200, Las Vegas
Named to American Football Coaches Assn. Good Works team...Has 30 tackles and two interceptions this season.
Jared Crick, DL, Nebraska, 6-6, 285, Cozad, Ne.
Has 27 tackles, 5 for losses this season...2.5 sacks, 5 quarterback hurries
Lawrence Guy, DT, Arizona State, 6-5, 300, Las Vegas
Has 18 tackles, two for losses and one sack...Has overcome learning disabilities to become an honor student and a popular spokesman at local schools.
Mark Herzlich, LB, Boston College, 6-4, 238, Wayne, Pa.
Has two interceptions and 14 tackles after returning to the field this year...Missed '09 season while recovering from cancer...Awarded honorary Lott Trophy last year.
Cameron Heyward, DT, Ohio State, 6-6, 287, Suwanee, Ga.
Has 20 tackles, one interception for an 80-yard return
Ross Homan, LB, Ohio State, 6-0, 229, Coldwater, Oh
Lott IMPACT Player of the Week Sept. 18...Leads team in tackles with 41, has an interception, a sack and a fumble recovery
Jeron Johnson, S, Boise State, 5-11, 194, Compton, Ca.
Leads Broncos for third straight season with 33, one interception.
Greg Jones, LB, Michigan State, 6-1, 228, Cincinnati
Has 60 tackles on the season, among the leaders in the country...3 forced fumbles...
Michigan State 7-0 first time in 44 years.
Ryan Kerrigan, DL, Purdue, 6-4, 263, Muncie, Ind.
Second in the country with 14 tackles for losses, 5.5 sacks...2nd in nation among linemen with 41 tackles, which leads team...Academic All-American
Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon, 6-2, 235, Agoura Hills, Ca.
Three interceptions and 3 fumble recoveries both tied for best in the nation.
Josh McNary, DE, Army, 6-1, 225, Houston
12 tackles for losses this year, Top 10 in the nation...9.5 sacks, 2nd in nation. Holds West Point records for career sacks and tackles for losses.
Dontay Moch, DE, Nevada, 6-1, 245, Chandler, Az.
Tied for 2nd in the country with 14 tackles for losses with 5 sacks
Mike Mohamed, LB, Cal, 6-3, 237, Brawley, Ca.
Semi-finalist for Campbell Trophy for scholastic excellence...Lott IMPACT Player of the Week Sept. 11...Wuerffel Trophy nominee for combining exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement...38 tackles on season, one interception.
Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU, 6-1, 211, Pompano Beach, Fl.
Lott IMPACT Player of the Week, Sept. 4...Has returned two punt returns for touchdowns and one interception for TD...Averages 21 yards per punt return, 4th in the nation.
Kelvin Sheppard, LB, LSU, 6-3, 239, Stone Mountain, Ga.
Leads LSU with 66 tackles...Lott IMPACT Player of the Week Oct. 9
JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin, 6-6, 287, Pewaukee, Wi
30 tackles this season with 10.5 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 6 pass breakups, 4 quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and a blocked kick...Academic All-Big Ten
Alex Wujciak, LB, Maryland, 6-3, 225, West Caldwell, NJ
11th in the country with 66 tackles, has 2.5 tackles for losses.
There are 10 defensive linemen on the quarter-finalist list; eight linebackers and five defensive backs. The Big 12 and the Big Ten have five players on the list, the Pac-10 four, the SEC and ACC three each, the WAC two and one independent, Army.
The semi-finalists will be announced Nov. 3 and the four finalists Nov. 24. Those four finalists will be flown to Newport Beach, Ca. for the annual black-tie banquet that will be televised by FOX.
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
2009 - Jerry Hughes, TCU
In six years, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has donated more than $750,000 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, retired NFL players and the Legends Coaches, a distinguished group of former college head coaches.