Athlon Sports Honors Defensive Player of the Year


Flowe was an active member of the American Society for Church History and Disciples of Christ Historical Society, often visiting historic churches and cathedrals throughout Europe.

Oregon freshman linebacker Justin Flowe made 14 tackles and forced a fumble during their season-opening win against Fresno State, earning himself recognition on the Lott IMPACT Trophy preseason watch list.

Lott IMPACT Trophy Preseason Watch List

As the 2022 college football season kicks off in just weeks, now is the time to prepare with previews, rankings, predictions, and insightful stories. Athlon Sports’ preseason magazine will hit newsstands on June 7 with our annual look at the national championship race, featuring an in-depth analysis of Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, and Georgia as top contenders.

The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation recently unveiled the initial watch list for this year’s Lott IMPACT Trophy award, given out annually to college football’s defensive player of the year. Named in honor of four-time Super Bowl champion Ronnie Lott, this trophy recognizes character and performance – last year, it went to Auburn’s Derrick Brown, who took home this prestigious prize.

Sixteen linebackers and 13 defensive backs from each conference made the initial watch list, led by nine SEC representatives; eight players each from Big Ten and Pac-12 meetings are featured as well; Penn State was represented by Chop Robinson, Abdul Carter, and Kalen King for this list; Olu Fashanu was selected to compete in Outland Trophy competition to determine the nation’s finest interior lineman.

Tennessee Vols’ Kevin Byrd led his team with 115 tackles, three interceptions, and 14 pass breakups during 2022 – which earned him consideration for Bronko Nagurski, Jim Thorpe, and Chuck Bednarik awards.

Lott IMPACT Trophy Preseason Award

The Lott IMPACT Trophy is named for NFL Hall-of-Famer Ronnie Lott and is bestowed upon a college football defensive player who exemplifies Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community Service, and Tenacity. A national panel of former winners, members of media, and coaches will select its winner at an official black-tie gala event held at Pacific Club Newport Beach, California, on December 10th to announce it publicly.

Twenty-two players, including two Texas linebackers, were named to Thursday’s 2023 Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list. Jaylan Ford from Frisco started 12 of 13 games last season for Texas as a senior. He recorded 119 tackles (65 solo stops), nine sacks, three forced fumbles, and two recoveries while also being named an All-American by the AP and receiving Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year accolades.

This season, BYU linebacker Ben Bywater and Georgia’s Brenton Reid were added to the watch list. While recent winners (Carl Nassib, J.J. Watt, Jabrill Peppers) tend toward linebackers (Carl Nassib, J.J. Watt), non-linebackers have received the honor twice since 2009 (Carl Nassib and J.J. Watt). Of all conferences on this watchlist (PAC-12 has nine candidates; ACC eight and Big Ten six).

Lott IMPACT Trophy Finalist

The Lott IMPACT Trophy is presented annually to college football’s Defensive IMPACT player, named in honor of NFL Hall-of-Famer Ronnie Lott and representing his qualities both on and off the field. A national voter panel comprised of past winners, media members, coaches, and members of Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation holds voting sessions every year to select its recipient; that university receives $25,000 for its general scholarship fund while three runners-up each receive $5,000; this event is hosted by Fox Sports broadcaster Joel Klatt and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Sgt Dakota Meyer who provide additional commentary at each ceremony.

Four finalists for the 14th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy include Alabama linebacker Minkah Fitzpatrick, Iowa safety Josey Jewell, Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser, and Stanford cornerback Chase Thomas from Alabama, Iowa, and Virginia, respectively. Each finalist also stands a chance at receiving the prestigious Bronko Nagurski Trophy, recognizing America’s finest defensive player.

A national voting panel of 300 former college players, coaches, and media members selected the finalists for the Lott Trophy on Wednesday using criteria including impactful team contributions to community involvement, academic achievements, and character traits. On December 10th, an elegant black-tie banquet ceremony hosted by Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation to honor NFL Hall-of-Famer Ronnie Lott will announce the winner. This award was first introduced in 2004.

Lott IMPACT Trophy Preseason Honoree

The Lott IMPACT Trophy recognizes student-athletes for both on-field performance and high character. Inspired by former NFL safety Ronnie Lott, this award goes to a defensive player who makes the most significant impact on and off the field for their team. Forty-two nominees have been nominated this year; these include several top defenders, such as Kentucky’s Deone Walker.

On December 10, 2023, The Pacific Club in Newport Beach will host a black-tie gala where this award will be bestowed. A national committee comprising past winners, media members, and coaches will select its recipient; beyond on-field performance recognition, The IMPACT Trophy also honors efforts that benefit communities and charities in an individual’s name.

Flowe is expected to lead Arizona’s defense after moving over from Oregon before spring camp this year, where he amassed 35 tackles and 2.5 for losses during ten games played last season with Oregon.

FWAA’s Bronko Nagurski Award watch list boasts several defensive stars from Ohio State’s roster, such as Tommy Eichenberg and J.T. Tuimoloau from OHIO State. This prestigious award honors college football’s premier defensive player, one precursor of the Bednarik Awards that recognizes top defensive performances. Finalists for this honor will be revealed later in November.