NEWPORT BEACH, Ca. Ohio State junior linebacker James Laurinaitis has been named one of the eight semi-finalists for the fourth annual Lott Trophy, it was announced today by the Board of Directors of The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation of Newport Beach, Ca.

The 6-3, 244-pound Laurinaitis won the Nagurski Award last year as a sophomore and is a finalist for the Butkus Award this season.

“This is an outstanding group of candidates and I’m proud of each and every one of them for how they handle themselves on and off the football field,” said Ronnie Lott.

In its fourth year, The Lott Trophy honors the college football Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. The student-athlete is judged on both his on-field performance and his off-field performance. The Lott Trophy is the only sports award based on personal character and is appropriately named after Lott, the legendary defensive back, who had Hall of Fame careers at both the college (USC) and professional (49ers, Raiders, Jets) levels. Previous winners were David Pollack of Georgia; DeMeco Ryans of Alabama; and Daymeion Hughes of Cal.

Voting for the winner will be conducted by Ernst & Young with ballots being sent to college offensive and defensive coordinators, national media, The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation Board of Directors, a Board of Advisors made up of former NFL players and coaches along with the 17 members of the Master Coaches. The four finalists will be announced Nov. 26.

The winner will be announced on Dec. 9th at a gala black-tie Awards Banquet at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Ca. All four finalists will be flown to Newport Beach for the banquet.

The event will be televised live by Fox Sports Net following that night’s Laker telecast.

The other semi-finalists are Illinois Linebacker J Leman, Colorado Linebacker Jordon Dizon, Virginia Defensive End Chris Long, USC Defensive Tackle Sedrick Ellis, Arizona Cornerback Antoine Cason, LSU Defensive Tackle Glenn Dorsey and Kentucky Linebacker Wesley Woodyard.

A look at the semi-finalists:

Antoine Cason, Senior, Cornerback, Arizona (4-6)
6-0, 182, Long Beach, Ca.
Nominated Thorpe Award, Nagurski Award (semi-finalist)*Named 2nd team mid-season All-American by both and College Football News*Among the nation’s leaders in interceptions with 4*62 tackles is 3rd on the team*Has 4 tackles for losses and 2 forced fumbles*Returned the interceptions for 122 yards and one touchdown*Has 20 punt returns for 143 yards*Team captain*14 career interceptions*His Cason Cares’ program at Arizona raises money for cancer research*The charity project was created in honor of Antoine’s grandfather, who died of leukemia in February*Co-president of Student-Athlete Advisory Board*Mentor as Peer Athletic Leader*Will graduate this December*Spoke to over 700 adults and kids at annual Tucson Boys & Girls Club dinner and received greatest compliments in 16 years

Jordon Dizon, Senior, Linebacker, Colorado (5-6)
6-0, 225, Kauai, Hawaii
Finalist for the annual Butkus Award*Semi-finalist for Nagurski Award*Named first team mid-season All-American by both and College Football News*Has been among the leading tacklers in the country all season*Team captain*Academic All Big 12*Colorado assistant coach Brian Cabral; “Though he is 30 years my junior, I am awed by who he is and how he does things. There has never been a more respected player of mine in the community than Jordon.”

Glenn Dorsey, Senior, Defensive Tackle, LSU (9-1)
6-2, 299, Gonzales, La.
Finalist for the Lombardi Award and semi-finalist for the Nagurski Award*First team mid-season All-American by both and College Football News*Team captain*LSU Coach Les Miles calls him the best interior lineman he’s seen in his 27 years of coaching*Considered by many to be first defensive player selected in next year’s NFL draft*Kentucky Coach Rich Brooks on Dorsey: “He is a man amongst boys.”* “The best player in college football.” –Kirk Herbstreit, ESPN analyst* Dorsey was the SEC Community Service Student Athlete of the Week last week. He spent the night before LSU’s game against Auburn with a child who had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The child, with his legs in casts, was scheduled to have his legs put in braces, just like that of Dorsey when he was 3-years old. After LSU’s walk-thru on Friday night, Dorsey took time and shared his story and played with the 5-year old*Solid student with 2.54 GPA who will graduate next spring

Sedrick Ellis, Senior, Defensive Tackle, USC (8-2)
6-1, 295, Chino, Ca.
Named first team mid-season All-American by both and College Football News*Semi-finalist for Nagurski Award*Exceptionally strong player*Anchors highly regarded Trojan defense*Has 48 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 10.5 tackles for losses, one fumble recovery*Has become vocal leader of defense*Volunteered at alma mater Chino High School *Won the Morris Trophy*Has developed into an outstanding and mature student athlete through strong character, hard work, and dedication

James Laurinaitis, Junior, Linebacker, Ohio State (10-1)
6-3, 244, Hamel, Mn.
Finalist for both the Butkus and Lombardi awards*Semi-finalist for Nagurski Award*Last season he became first sophomore to ever win the Nagurski Award*Named first team mid-season All-American by*National Defensive Player of the Week after 19 tackle performance against Wisconsin* Leads Buckeyes in tackles with 97*Has 8 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery*Ohio State ranked among top teams in the country in total defense*Team captain*First team All-American last season*2nd team Academic All-American last season*Two-time OSU Scholar Athlete *Dean’s list *Student-Athlete Advisory Board*From John Macko, OSU Athletic Academic Counselor: “His work ethic is beyond compare. He is one of those individuals who go the extra step to achieve success.”*Has shared his faith story with at least 16,000 people in live audiences and 70,000 through the media (from Jim Schmidtke, Athletes in Action)

J Leman, Senior, Linebacker, Illinois (8-3)
6-2, 240, Champaign, Il.
Semi-finalist for Lombardi, Nagurski and Draddy (academic Heisman)*Named 2nd team mid-season All-American by both and College Football News*Team captain as both junior and senior* His 114 tackles are 4th best in Big 10*Leads team in tackles by more than 30*Has 9.5 tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks and an interception*Illini have held opponents to under 100 rushing yards in four games this season*Graduated in three years with a BS degree (3.7 grade point average)*Will complete Master’s degree in December*Heavily involved in the Vineyard Church (his father is a pastor)*The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) named him one of 15 National Scholar-Athlete winners* Raising money for local children’s home.

Chris Long, Senior, Defensive End, Virginia (9-2)
6-4, 284, Ivy, Va.
Finalist for Lombardi and Nagurski awards*Named first team mid-season All-American by and College Football News*Two-time team captain*12 sacks this season are 3rd most in the nation*Has made big plays that were pivotal in three Virginia wins this season*Has 17.5 tackles for losses (10th in country), 69 total tackles (2nd on team), a team best 18 quarterback hurries, an interception, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal*Twice ACC Player of the Week*As a junior won Ned McDonald Award as the team’s outstanding defensive player, the Colonel F.C. McCue Award as the outstanding interior lineman and the Joe Palumbo Award for self-sacrifice, dedication and enthusiasm*Earned second-team All-ACC honors. He finished fourth among ACC defensive linemen in tackling with an average of 4.8 tackles per game*Led the Cavaliers with 12 tackles for loss and 21 quarterback pressures, while making five sacks*Virginia Coach Al Groh “All he (Long) wants to do is win. Everything that Chris thinks and does is motivated by how many games the team can win.”*Sociology major will graduate in the spring* John Blake coached him at St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville. “He is the hardest working athlete I have been around in my 35 years of playing and coaching. It is refreshing to know a great athlete who knows how to do it right. I’m glad that I have the opportunity to know Chris, but I can’t put into words how I feel about the fact that my two sons have the opportunity to know such a great young man and role model.”

Wesley Woodyard, Senior,Linebacker, Kentucky (7-3)
6-1, 212, LaGrange, Ga.
Nominated Nagurski and Lombardi Award*Semifinalist for the Butkus Award*Leads the Southeastern Conference in tackles (102) and tackles per game (10.3)*Also has 8 tackles for loss, 2 quarterback sacks, 5 pass breakups, and has caused two fumbles *SEC Defensive Player of the Week in the upset win at Arkansas*SEC Academic Honor Roll (2006) *Named to the UK Athletics Society of Character; team leadership council*On track to graduate in 3 years *Goodwill ambassador for the University *Major is Social Work