Leonhard a finalist for Lott award

Free safety could receive award for athletic performance, character

Senior free safety Jim Leonhard is one of three finalists for the Lott Trophy, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation announced Wednesday.

The Lott Trophy honors athletic performance as well as an athlete's personal character, the first college football award to do so. The trophy is named for NFL Hall of Fame athlete Ronnie Lott and is in its first year.

IMPACT, or Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity, are characteristics that define both Lott and the candidates for the award, according to the Pacific Club. The trophy will be awarded to the Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year, one who has had the biggest affect on his team on and off the field.

Georgia defensive end David Pollack and Texas linebacker Derrick Johnson are the two other finalists. All three will be honored in a banquet in Newport Beach, Calif., Dec. 12, where the winner will be announced.

"I was hesitant to put my name on yet another college football award until I understood that The Lott Trophy would be the first award to give equal consideration to the personal character of these athletes," Ronnie Lott said in a release. "We were thrilled that we had so many excellent candidates this first year. It was extremely gratifying to learn about the positive IMPACT these outstanding young men have generated both on and off the field. I congratulate them all."

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