Lott IMPACT Trophy | Honoring College Football's Defensive Best

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

-RONNIE LOTT

Extra Points from the Lott IMPACT Trophy

DeMeco Ryans, the winner of the 2006 Lott IMPACT Trophy when he starred for Alabama, had a career high 177 tackles last season for the Philadelphia Eagles. It was his second season with the Eagles after playing his first six with the team that drafted him, the Houston Texans. In his career, Ryans now has 962 career tackles. Off the field, Ryans has been even more impressive. He’s endowed a scholarship at Alabama and through his foundation grants partial scholarships to 10 underprivileged students each yet.

Former Stanford All-American running back Darrin Nelson, a member of the Lott IMPACT Trophy Board of Advisors, is a nominee for the College Football Hall o Fame. Nelson, now an associate athletic director at UC Irvine, was the first player in NCAA history to rush for more than 1,000 yards and catch more than 50 passes in one season.

Mike Salmon, the founder and Vice-Chairman of the Lott IMPACT Trophy, was a huge prep star at Greenway High School in Phoenix. In one game he threw two touchdown passes, caught one touchdown pass, intercepted two passes, kicked two field goals and kicked four extra points. All in the first half!.

Brent Musburger, the keynote speaker at the annual Lott banquet in 2011, is still going strong as he approaches his 75th birthday (in May). He was recently named the play-by-play announcer for the new SEC Network, teaming with Jesse Palmer for Saturday games throughout the upcoming season.

Vince Ferragamo is a wine judge these days. The former Nebraska and Los Angeles Ram quarterback is a Lott IMPACT Trophy advisory board member. He grows his own wine on his property in Orange, Ca. and has been selected to be a judge at the annual Los Angeles Wine and Spirits Competition.

2008 finalist Myron Rolle of Florida State nearly became the third Rhodes Scholar student to play in the NFL. The only two to do so have been Whizzer White of Colorado (who later became a Supreme Court justice) and Pat Haden of USC (now the school’s athletic director and a member of the Lott IMPACT Trophy Board of Directors). But tryouts with the Tennessee Titans and Pittsburgh Steelers did not work out for Rolle, who took a year off from football to study at Oxford. Now studying to be a neurosurgeon at Florida State, he was asked by SB Nation how he’d like to be described: “I want to be described as a Rhodes Scholar who played football at the highest level,” he said, “but for the most part I want to be described as a leader, someone who was able to look at the lives of young people and positively impact it. And not just on a superficial level, but on a very profound level where they’re actually moved to be greater than they ever thought they could be.”

Northwestern, the target of the lawsuit to allow football players to form their own union, has the highest graduation rate (97%) of all Division I schools.

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