Lott IMPACT Trophy | Honoring College Football's Defensive Best



2014 Watch List

2014 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List Nominees

42 of the most accomplished student-athletes in the country were nominated to the 11th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy watch-list. Click on a helmet below to view each candidate’s profile.




Geoffrey-Bacon, DB, Army
Geoffrey Bacon-Army (6-0, 207, Milwaukee): Led Army in tackles with 136 in 2012, 9th best in school history and 5th best in nation. Missed four games last year, but still finished second with 63 tackles. High school honor student and member of the student council.
Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson
Vic Beasley - Clemson(6-2, 235, Adairsville, Ga.):
Consensus All-American, 23 tackles for loss (3rd in the nation), 13 sacks (tied for 3rd in the nation). Hendricks finalist. On track to graduate in spring with degree in sociology.
Michael Bennett, DT, Ohio St.
Michael Bennett - Ohio State(6-2, 288, Centerville, Ohio):
Injuries have plagued his career so far. Ohio State scholar-athlete. Both parents graduated from West Point. Has 34 career tackles and 8.5 career tackles for loss.
Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan St.
Shilique Calhoun - Michigan State(6-4, 250, Middletown, New Jersey):
Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year. Third team All-American. Had 14 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, 18 quarterback hurries and four fumble recoveries.
Sam Carter, S, TCU
Sam Carter - TCU(6-1, 215, Alief, Texas):
Team captain. Five interceptions last season. Twice named second team All-Big 12. Has 120 career tackles.
Henry Coley, LB, Virginia
Henry Coley - Virgina(6-2, 240, Virginia Beach, Virginia):
Led Cavaliers with 91 tackles, 10 tackles for losses. Academic All-ACC.
Landon Collins, S, Alabama
Landon Collins - Alabama(6-0, 215, Geismar, La.):
Second on Alabama defense with 70 tackles. Broke up six passes, defended eight, forced two fumbles and had an 89-yard interception for a touchdown against Tennessee.
Xavier Cooper, DL, Washington State
Xavier Cooper - Washington State(6-4, 300, Tacoma, Wa.):
Senior defensive tackle who led the Cougars with 13.5 tackles for loss and 5 sacks last season. He also recovered two fumbles (one for a touchdown) and forced two others while recording 50 tackles. Cooper overcame a learning disability in high school to propser at WSU.
Corey Cooper, S, Nebraska
Corey Cooper - Nebraska(6-1, 215, Maywood, Illinois):
Academic All-Big Ten. Had 91 tackles (led team), 7 tackles for loss, named All-Big Ten. Volunteers for Husker Heroes.
Christian Covington, DL, Rice
Christian Covington(6-3, 300, Vancouver, British Columbia):
All C-USA first team choice last season with 11.5 tackles for losses and 59 total tackles. Member of C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
Ronald Darby, CB, Florida St.
Ronald Darby - Florida State(5-11, 190, Oxon Hill, Maryland):
Freshman All-American and ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012. World-class sprinter.
Michael Doctor, LB, Oregon State
Michael Doctor - Oregon State(6-0, 219, Tulsa, Oklahoma):
Fifth-year senior who missed 2013 with an injury. Led team with 83 tackles (with 11 for losses) in ’12. Team captain.
Alvin “Bud” Dupree, DE, Kentucky
Alvin Dupree - Kentucky(6-4, 252, Irwinton, Ga.):
All-SEC as a junior; made sophomore All-America 2nd team. Second on team with 61 tackles. Recorded seven sacks. Honor roll student. Member of Future Business Leaders of America.
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon
Ifo Ekpre Olomu - Oregon(5-10, 195, Chino Hills, Ca. ):
Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List in 2013. All-Pac 12 player for second straight season. Named 2nd team All-American. Semi-finalist for both Thorpe and Bednarik awards. Recorded 78 tackles last year.
Collin Ellis, LB, Northwestern
Collin Ellis - Northwestern(6-2, 230, St. Gabriel, La.):
Had two interceptions and returned both for touchdowns in one half last season (against Cal). Finished with 78 tackles. Academic All-Big Ten. Majoring in Learning and Organizational Change.
Cole Farrand, LB, Maryland
Cole Farrand - Maryland(6-3, 245, Sparta, New Jersey):
Two-time academic All-ACC. Led team with 78 tackles in 2012 and had 84 tackles (4.5 for losses) last season. Volunteer high school track and field coach.
Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
Randy Gregory - Nebraska(6-6, 245, Fishes, Indiana):
19 tackles for losses, 10.5 sacks, 66 total tackles. Named National Sophomore of the Year last season. All-Big Ten.
Bryce Hager, LB, Baylor
Bryce Hager - Baylor(6-2, 235, Austin):
Lott IMPACT Trophy quarter-finalist last season. Led Big-12 in tackles in 2012. Injured part of last season. Son of former Texas standout Britt Hager.
Vernon Hargreaves, DB, Florida
Vernon Hagreaves - Florida(5-11, 192, Tampa):
National Defensive Freshman of the Year. All-SEC as a frosh last year. Had three interceptions, 11 passes broken up and 38 tackles.
Anthony Harris, S, Virginia
Anthony Harris - Virginia(6-1, 190, Chesterfield, Va.):
senior safety who is on all pre-season watch lists and All-American teams. He led the nation in interceptions with 8 last season and has been selected a team captain for 2014.
David Helton, LB, Duke
David Helton - Duke(6-4, 235, Chattanooga):
Two-time academic All-ACC. Had 11 tackles against Texas A&M in Chick-fil-A Bowl. Led team with 122 tackles with high of 20 vs. Virginia Tech.
Myles Jack, LB, UCLA
Myles Jack - UCLA(6-1, 225, Bellevue, Washington):
Rare feat of being named Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman Offensive Player of the Year. Named all-purpose All-American and finalist for Paul Hornung Award as most versatile player in country. Had 75 tackles on defense and ran for seven touchdowns as a halfback, four in one game. Made Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.
A.J. Johnson, LB, Tennessee
AJ Johnson - Tennessee(6-2, 243, Gainesville, Georgia):
All-SEC first team with 106 tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss. Has 324 career tackles and 21.5 tackles for loss. Returning Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List nominee.
Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
Karl Joseph - West Virginia(5-11, 194, Orlando):
Has started all 25 games he has played at West Virginia. All-Big 12 honorable mention last season when he had 68 tackles and four fumble recoveries, which led the conference. Team Defensive MVP as a freshman when he was named frosh All-American. Team captain and member of Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA
Eric Kendricks - UCLA(6-0, 228, Fresno):
Led Pac-12 in tackles with 150 in 2012, 3rd in conference last season with 105. Athletic Director’s Honor roll student. On Lott IMPACT Watch List last year. Father Marv led UCLA in rushing in ’70 and ’71.
Hau’oli Kikaha, DE, Washington
Hau' Olo Kikaha - Washington(6-3, 250, Laie, Hawaii):
13 sacks (2nd most in school history). Had 70 tackles. Named team defensive MVP. Garnered second team all-conference accolades. Academic All Pac-12.
Cameron Lynch, LB, Syracuse
Cameron Lynch - Syracuse(5-11, 230, Lawrenceville, Georgia):
Recorded 68 tackles, including 12 tackles for loss and four sacks. Named to Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.
Wayne Lyons, CB, Stanford
Wayne Lyons - Stanford(6-1, 196, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.):
Academic All Pac-12 with 3.42 grade point average. Had 64 tackles with two interceptions last season. High school valedictorian. Class president as a sophomore, junior and senior. Numerous high school academic honors.
Ryan Mueller, DE, Kansas State
Ryan Mueller - Kansas State(6-2, 245, Leawood, Kansas):
Former walk-on was named Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year. Had 11.5 sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss, four fumble recoveries and 62 total tackles. Second team All-American. On student-athlete advisory committee. Has befriended 8-year-old leukemia patient named Kaiden. Has given him his jersey and taken him to a game as his personal guest. Has his own landscaping business.
Cory Morrissey, DE, Iowa State
Cory Morrissey - Iowa State(6-4, 260, Ames, Iowa):
Recorded 52 tackles last season when he was named honorable mention all conference. Named team defensive lineman of the year. Changed his number to 58 in honor of assistant coach Curtis Bray who died at the age of 58.
Hayes Pullard, LB, USC
Hayes Pullard - USC(6-1, 230, Inglewood, Ca.):
Led USC in tackles two of last three years. Had team best 94 tackles with 5.5 for losses last season. Named to the All-Pac 12 team. Team captain. Made mission trip to Haiti in 2012 with teammates.
Cedric Reed, DE, Texas
Cedric Reed - Texas(6-6, 258, Cleveland, Texas):
Three-time member of the school honor roll. All-Big 12 selection last year when he had 19 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and a team best five forced fumbles.
Jordan Richards, S, Stanford
Jordan Richards - Stanford(5-11, 208, Folsom, Ca.):
Second team Academic All-American last year. Twice All-Pac 12 academic selection. 69 tackles, three interceptions last season when he was All-Pac-12 2nd team.
Jake Ryan, LB, Michigan
Jake Ryan - Michigan(6-3, 236, Westlake, Ohio):
In 2012, he led the Wolverines with 88 tackles and 16 tackles for losses. Ryan is a team captain and has already completed his undergraduate work.
Deterrian Shackelford, LB, Ole Miss
Deterrian Shackelford(6-1, 252, Decatur, Alabama):
Sixth year student-athlete. Working on Master’s degree in education. Has been on SEC Honor Roll five times. National Football Foundation scholar-athlete semi-finalist last year. Twice nominated for Wuerffel Trophy. Also nominated for AFCA Good Works team and was a Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup nominee. Had 44 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss last season. On Lott Watch List last season.
Danny Shelton, DT, Washington
Danny Shelton - Washington(6-2, 327, Auburn, Washington):
Academic All-Pac 12 with 3.46 grade point average. Honorable mention all-conference. Had 52 tackles last season. On Lott Watch List last season. Biggest player on this year’s Watch List.
Derron Smith, S, Fresno State
Derron Smith - Fresno State(5-11, 200, Banning, Ca.):
Returning Watch List. Twice All-Mountain West performer. 87 tackles, seven interceptions last season.
Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame
Jaylon Smith - Notre Dame(6-2, 230, Fort Wayne, Indiana):
Won Butkus Award for high school players. Recorded 67 tackles and had 6.5 tackles for loss last season.
Eric Striker, LB, Oklahoma
Eric Striker - Oklahoma(6-0, 219, Seffner, Florida):
All-Big 12 performer. All- Big 12 academic team. Had 10.5 tackles for loss last season, 50 total tackles.
Jared Tevis, S, Arizona
Jared Tevis(5-10, 198, Tucson):
Academic All-Pac 12, 78 tackles. Former walk-on.
Leonard Williams, DT, USC
Leonard Williams - USC(6-5, 290, Daytona Beach, Fl.):
Rated by many as best defensive player in the country. All-American (4th team) last year when he had 74 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 6 sacks. Art student who has had his works displayed on campus.
Ramik Wilson, LB, Georgia
Ramik WIlson - Georgia(6-2, 232, Tampa):
All-SEC, 3rd team All-American. Led SEC with 133 total tackles. High game was 18 tackles vs. Auburn. Had 8.5 tackles for loss.