Leman Named to Lott Award Watch List

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Illinois Linebacker J Leman is among 42 of the top defensive players in the nation to be named to the 2007 Lott Trophy Watch List, it was announced on Tuesday.

Leman, 6-3, 245, led the Big Ten with 152 tackles last year, third best in the country. His 19 tackles for loss were seventh best. For his efforts, Leman earned first-team All-Big Ten honors and was named to Sports Illustrated's honorable mention All-America team. His 152 tackles were the best by an Illini defender since the Darrick Brownlow during the 1990 season. He is an Academic All-Big Ten and CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District recipient. He also is a 2006 graduate of the University of Illinois currently in his second semester of obtaining his master's degree in human resource education.

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 fourth year, The Lott Trophy is the first college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. 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.

David Pollack of Georgia won the initial Lott Trophy in 2004. DeMeco Ryans of Alabama won the award in 2005 and Daymeion Hughes of Cal was the recipient in 2006. Georgia, Alabama and Cal each received $25,000 for their general scholarship funds.

The winner will be announced at a gala black-tie banquet at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Ca. on December 9th, 2007.

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