Alabama strongside linebacker DeMeco Ryans is a 6-2, 232-pound senior who is a three-time All-Academic SEC performer, graduating cum laude in December. He is the top tackler for the Crimson Tide with 59, including 9 tackles for losses and already has 290 career tackles. Led by Ryans, Alabama yields just 8.2 points per game, which is number one in the nation.
The other semifinalists are Ohio State linebacker A.J. Hawk, Kentucky cornerback Antoine Huffman, Notre Dame linebacker Brandon Hoyte, Maryland linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, Virginia defensive end Brennan Schmidt and Virginia Tech Defensive End Darryl Tapp.
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.
Finalists will be announced November 28. 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 Lott Trophy is awarded to the college football Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation of Newport Beach, California. The Awards Banquet will be held at The Pacific Club located in Newport Beach, California, on December 11. The winning student-athlete's university will receive $25,000 for the general scholarship fund from The IMPACT Foundation.