Lott IMPACT Trophy | Honoring College Football's Defensive Best

“IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT, THE MIND CAN ACHIEVE IT.”

-RONNIE LOTT

Lott IMPACT Trophy Names 2015 Finalists

Newport Beach, CA- The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has announced the four finalists for the 12th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy brought to you by Mercedes-Benz USA.

The four outstanding student-athletes are Jeremy Cash of Duke, Tyler Matakevich of Temple, Carl Nassib of Penn State and Joshua Perry of Ohio State.

These distinguished young men represent the qualities embodied by Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott – Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

The winner of the 2015 Lott IMPACT Trophy will be announced at The Lott IMPACT Trophy Award Banquet, held at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach on December 13. The award show will be televised live on Fox Sports West at 7PM PST, and will be hosted by Fox Sports’ Joel Klatt and Jenny Taft.

Martin Dugard, the New York Times #1 best-selling author of “To Be a Runner,” who has also co-authored five successful best sellers with Bill O’Reilly will be featured as the keynote speaker.

The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation will make a $25,000 donation to the general scholarship fund of the winner’s university and $5,000 to each of the schools of the runner-ups. In 11 years, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has now donated more than $1.2 million, including nearly $500,000 to universities throughout the country.

2015 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY FINALISTS

Jeremy Cash, Duke, S
Tyler Matakevich, Temple, LB
Carl Nassib, Penn State, DE
Joshua Perry, Ohio State, LB

A LOOK AT THE 2015 LOTT IMPACT TROPHY FINALISTS

Jeremy Cash

Duke (7-5)
Safety, Senior, 6-2, 210

Performance: Returning Duke Blue Devils team captain Jeremy Cash was named Lott IMPACT Player of the Week twice this season (Week 4 and Week 8). This season he has 101 tackles with 18 tackles for losses (10th in the nation). He also has 3 forced fumbles (2 fumbles recovered against Army), 8 quarterback hurries and 4 passes defended.

This year he was named All-ACC for the third consecutive year, he was named a mid-season All-American and could become the first three-time All-American in Duke history.

Academics: Cash was a Psychology major with a minor in evolutionary anthropology that graduated with a 3.2 GPA. He is currently working on his Master’s degree and currently has a 3.8 GPA.

Duke Athletic Director Kevin White on Cash: “The distinct combination of Jeremy’s work ethic, innate intelligence and engaging personality, not to mention his non-negotiable commitment to succeed, have put him in a position wherein he will leave an indelible fingerprint on our society, if not the world.”

Duke Coach David Cutcliffe on Cash: “He’s doing everything you want a leader to do. Jeremy sets the standard for how your team manages themselves, from the locker room to the equipment room. It sounds like an unimportant thing, but that’s huge. Those are all learned behaviors. That’s what really good leaders do.”

Jeremy Cash: “Honestly, when people ask me, ‘Hey, are you a football player,’ I always tell them, no. I’m a student that plays football. I think there’s a difference. Because I don’t let football define the type of person that I am.”

Tyler Matakevich

Temple (10-2)
Linebacker, Senior, 6-1, 232

Performance: Matakevich is the only player in the country to lead his team in tackles every game this season.

Named Lott IMPACT Player of the Week in Week 9, Matakevich was also named the National Defensive Player of the Week when Temple beat Penn State, 27-10 earlier this season. He leads his team with 118 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and 5 interceptions (most in the country among linebackers).

He has had over 100 tackles in each of his four seasons, making him only the 7th player in NCAA history to accomplish that feat.

Matakevich has been named American Athletic Conference Player of the Week four times and has played in a school record 47 straight games. He is also a finalist for both the Bednarik and Nagurski awards.

Character: Matakevich was named twice to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll and has also been named to the Senior Class Award list for academic and athletic achievement along with character and community service.

Temple Coach Matt Rhule on Matakevich: “One of the things he does is he allows himself to be led and he leads. He allows people to hold him accountable. He wants to raise everybody’s level of play. Tyler worries about his teammates and it’s why everybody respects him so much.”

Tyler Matakevich: “If you’re able to study this game and really understand it, it’ll make you such a good football player, and that’s what I’ve really learned since I’ve been in college.”

Carl Nassib

Penn State (7-5)
Defensive End Senior, 6-7, 272

Performance: A former walk-on who had never started a game in high school or college until this season, Nassib leads the nation in sacks (15.5) and forced fumbles with 6 (despite missing most of Penn State’s last two games). He is also second in the country in tackles for losses (19.5).

He was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, was a Mid-season All-American and was named first team All-Big Ten.

Academics: He is a two-time All-Big Ten academic choice who plans to enter medical school. Carl will graduate in December with a 3.5 grade point average in biology.

PJ Mullen, Penn State Director of Player Development and Community Relations on Nassib: “Carl has demonstrated outstanding dedication to his work while working tirelessly as a student, an athlete and a charity organizer. Leaders like Carl can be relied on to get the job done.”

Lindsay Schnell, Sports Illustrated on Nassib: “He’s a Penn State guy that embodies the hard-working, blue-collar, never-quit, does-everything-the-right-way-on-and-off-the-field attitude adopted by the Nittany Lions decades ago.

Carl Nassib: “People work hard for a while and expect results to come out like that. And it’s difficult to work hard every day for long periods of time and not really see the fruits of your labor until later in life. But those are the really lucky people that strive to be the best they can be and, one day, they look at themselves and they are. I want to be one of those people who can look at myself in the mirror and know I did everything I could to be the best that I can. Personally, I don’t think about stats very much. The only stats that matter to me are the wins and losses every week.”

Joshua Perry

Ohio State (11-1)
Linebacker Senior, 6-4, 254

Performance: Perry is a team captain who was named first team All-Big Ten this year. He has 98 tackles this season, 7.5 for losses, 3.5 sacks, 4 quarterback hurries and 3 passes broken up. His 124 tackles led the National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes by 32 tackles last year.

He was named 2nd team All-Big Ten in 2014.

Character: Perry is an Ohio State Scholar-Athlete that will graduate in December. He has been nominated for the Senior Class Award, AFCA Good Works Team and Wuerffel Award – all for community service. He is also on the Ohio Public Images Award list and in the Spring of 2015, he made a trip to El Salvador to donate shoes as part of the Soles For Souls program.

Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer on Perry: “He’s one of my favorite guys. He’s a guy that just does everything right. He’s a guy I’d hire in a minute if he wants to coach. He’s a guy that just represents the Perry family and Ohio State the right way. There’s a high correlation between that and playing very well on the field and he’s doing it.”

Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith on Perry: “If he did not play professionally, I would create a position for him and train him to be an athletic administrator. If I had to choose three athletes over my 30 years as an athletic director who would be most special, Joshua would be one of the three.”

PREVIOUS WINNERS OF THE LOTT IMPACT TROPHY:
2004 – David Pollack, Georgia
2005 – DeMeco Ryans, Alabama
2006 – Dante Hughes, Cal
2007 – Glenn Dorsey, LSU
2008 – James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
2009 – Jerry Hughes, TCU
2010 – J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
2011 – Luke Kuechly, Boston College
2012 – Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
2013 – Anthony Barr, UCLA
2014 – Eric Kendricks, UCLA
2015 – TBA

Named after Pro Football Hall of Fame member, Ronnie Lott, The Lott IMPACT Trophy is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Founded in 2004 by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, The Lott Trophy 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: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity. 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 $1.1 million to various charities throughout the country. The 12th annual Lott Trophy dinner will be held Dec. 13th at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, California.