The 20 players represent the best college defensive players in the nation who make the biggest IMPACT on their team both on and off the field. IMPACT is an acronym for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
The list of quarterfinalists include Wilkins, Marcus Allen of Penn State, Quin Blanding of Virginia, Ben Burr-Kirven of Washington, Jason Cabinda of Penn State, Tremaine Edmunds of Virginia Tech, Minkah Fitzpatrick of Alabama, Zaire Franklin of Syracuse, Derwin James of Florida State, and Malik Jefferson of Texas.
Also on the list of quarterfinalists are Josey Jewell of Iowa, Micah Kiser of Virginia, Christian LaCouture of LSU, Tyquan Lewis of Ohio State, Courtney Love of Kentucky Hercules Mata’afa of Washington State, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo of Oklahoma, Harrison Phillips of Stanford, Cameron Smith of Southern California, and Drue Tranquill of Notre Dame.
Wilkins was an All-American last year when he helped the Tigers to the National Championship. So far this year Clemson is No 7 in the latest AP poll with a 6-1 record. The Tigers next game is October 28 vs. Georgia Tech. So far this year, Wilkins has 20 tackles, including four tackles for loss and two sacks.
Named after College and Pro Football Hall of Fame member, Ronnie Lott, The Lott IMPACT Trophy was founded in 2004. It is the first and only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.
The Lott Trophy is given to the player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career. There are nine linebackers on the list, six defensive linemen and five defensive backs.
Semi-finalists will be announced Nov. 8 and four finalists will be announced Nov. 28. The finalists will attend the Lott IMPACT Trophy Awards Banquet Dec. 10 at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach where the winner will be announced by Ronnie Lott. Each of the schools of the finalists will receive $5,000 for their general scholarship fund while the school of the winner will receive $25,000.
Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, the Board of Directors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation and a distinguished group of former college football head coaches. To date, the Foundation has donated more than $1.4 million to various charities throughout the country.