DeMeco Ryans is a 6-2, 232-pound senior linebacker who is a three-time All-Academic SEC performer, graduating cum laude in December. He is the top tackler for the 7-0 Alabama Crimson Tide with 52, including 9 tackles for losses, and already has 283 career tackles.
Ryans is one of five quarter-finalists on an undefeated team. The others are defensive end Darryl Tapp of Virginia Tech, safety Darnell Bing of USC, defensive end Quentin Moses of Georgia and linebacker Spencer Havner of UCLA.
The other quarter-finalists are linebackers Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge of Iowa, A.J. Hawk of Ohio State, Brandon Hoyte of Notre Dame, D'Qwell Jackson of Maryland and Moses Osemwegie of Vanderbilt. Defensive backs Darrell Brooks of Arizona and Antoine Huffman of Kentucky are also on the list as are defensive end Elvis Dumervil of Louisville and defensive tackle Brennan Schmidt of Virginia.
In its second year, The Lott Trophy honors the college football Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. The student-athlete is judged on both his on-field performance and his off-field performance. The Lott Trophy is the first sports award based on personal character and is appropriately named after the legendary defensive back, Ronnie Lott. Last year's winner was David Pollack, the All-American defensive end from Georgia.
Semi-finalists will be announced November 11. Voting for the winner will be conducted by Ernst & Young with ballots being sent to college offensive and defensive coordinators, national media, The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation Board of Directors, a Board of Advisors made up of former NFL players and coaches along with the three finalists from last year – Pollack, Derrick Johnson of Texas and Jim Leonhard of Wisconsin.
The winner will be announced on December 11 at a gala black-tie Awards Banquet at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach.