So maybe it’s something like three-and-a-half months until kickoff, but it’s not too early to recognize Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick as a player to watch in 2017.
Fitzpatrick has been named to the 2017 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation announced. Fitzpatrick is one of eight Southeastern Conference players among the 42 named to the list.
Fitzpatrick was named a first team All-America by the Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, and Pro Football Focus and earned second-team from Walter Camp and The Sporting News as a sophomore. He was tabbed as a first team All-SEC selection by both the coaches and the Associated Press and was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award.
The Old Bridge, N.J., native has returned four interceptions for touchdowns during his career, including two in 2016, to set the Alabama all-time mark for pick-sixes, and led the Crimson Tide in interceptions (6) and interception return yards (186) last season. His 186 return yards ranked near the top nationally while his six picks tied for seventh in the FBS.
Named after Pro Football Hall of Fame member, Ronnie Lott, The Lott IMPACT 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.
The 14th annual Lott IMACT Trophy Awards will be held Dec. 10 at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Calif.