Hefney, a senior from Rock Hill, S.C., is on course to graduate in December with a degree in political science. The Vols highly regarded cover man has 36 tackles so far this season to go with an interception and four passes defensed. Hefney's most important role this year has been guiding the Vols' young secondary that currently starts two freshmen and a sophomore.
The award's previous winners have been David Pollack of Georgia in 2004, DeMeco Ryans of Alabama in 2005 and Daymeion Hughes of California in 2006. Ryans went on to be named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year last season with the Houston Texans.
Voters for The Lott Trophy are college offensive and defensive coordinators, former head coaches who make up the Master Coaches, the Board of Directors of The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, The Lott Trophy Board of Advisors and selected members of the national media.
The 2007 Lott Trophy quarterfinalists: Antoine Cason, DB, Arizona; Jordon Dizon, LB, Colorado; Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU; Sedrick Ellis, DT, Southern California; Nic Harris, DB, Oklahoma; Derrick Harvey, DE, Florida; JONATHAN HEFNEY, DB, TENNESSEE; Cody Kase, LB, New Mexico; Nick Larkin, DL, Boston College; James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State; J. Leman, LB, Illinois; Chris Long, DE, Virginia; Dwight Lowery, DB, San Jose State; Ben Moffitt, LB, South Florida; Keith Rivers, LB, Southern California; Wesley Woodyard, LB, Kentucky; Tom Zbikowski, DB, Notre Dame.