Nov. 27, 2006
NEWPORT BEACH, Ca. – Cornerback Daymeion Hughes of Cal, Defensive Tackle Quinn Pitcock of Ohio State and Linebacker Paul Posluszny of Penn State have been named finalists for The Lott Trophy, it was announced today.
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 third year, The Lott Trophy is the first and only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.
“It is an honor to have these three fine young men as finalists for the award,” said Lott. “They are each a credit to the game of football, to their school and to their families.”
The winner will be announced at a gala black-tie banquet at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach Dec. 10. The key-note speaker at this year’s event will be Pro Football Hall of Famer and long-time Monday Night Football announcer Frank Gifford,
Sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, The Lott Trophy is given to a player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Hughes, a senior from Los Angeles, is among the nation’s leaders in interceptions this season with eight. His 15 career interceptions are the second most in Cal history and he is regarded as one of the best open-field tacklers in the game. An art major with a grade point average of nearly 3.0, Hughes leads Bible study among his teammates and donates food to homeless shelters in the Bay Area.
“If I had a team full of Hughes’s we would undoubtedly be competing for the national championship every year,” said Cal Head Coach Jeff Tedford.
Pitcock, a 295-pound senior from Piqua, Ohio, has eight sacks for the undefeated and No. 1-ranked Buckeyes. He is on the Academic honor roll and volunteers at camps for underprivileged kids.
“In 30 years of coaching defensive linemen, I have never had a better player,” said Ohio State Defensive Coordinator Jim Heacock. “He always maintains humility and always puts team before self.”
Posluszny, a senior from Aliquippa, Pa., was the winner of The Butkus and Bednarik Awards last year. He is Penn State’s all-time leading tackler with 364 and has been the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Week five times. An Academic All-American last season, he has made the Dean’s List five of six semesters and maintains a 3.56 grade point average in finance.
“In 28 years at Penn State, I’ve never coached a player with better character than Paul,” said Nittany Lion Defensive Coordinator Tom Bradley. “If I had a son I would want him to be just like Paul.”
David Pollack of Georgia and DeMeco Ryans of Alabama were the winners of the first two Lott Trophies. Both Georgia and Alabama received $25,000 for their general scholarship funds. In two years, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has donated $170,000 to various charities, in addition to the two universities.
Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous Lott Trophy finalists, the Board of Directors and Board of Advisors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation and Master Coaches, a distinguished group of former head college coaches.