Lott IMPACT Trophy | Honoring College Football's Defensive Best



Laurinaitis Wins 2008 Lott IMPACT Trophy

NEWPORT BEACH, CA. – Ohio State Senior Linebacker James Laurinaitis has been named the winner of the fifth annual Lott Trophy. Laurinaitis was presented with the trophy Sunday night by Ronnie Lott at a black-tie banquet in Newport Beach.

“I can’t think of a bigger honor than winning an award with Mr. (Ronnie) Lott’s name on it,” said Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis (6-3, 244., Hamel, Mn.), who had already had a highly decorated collegiate career, was a Lott finalist last year. He has won the Butkus and Nagurski awards in previous seasons. Laurinaitis is a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time Ohio State captain. He’s been an academic All-American and on the Dean’s List each of his four years. He led the Buckeyes in tackles again this season with 121 and has been an All-American each of the past three years. The other finalists were Aaron Curry of Wake Forest, Brian Orakpo of Texas and Myron Rolle of Florida State. Each of the four finalists has already graduated from college. Each finalist receives $5,000 for his school’s general scholarship fund and the Ohio State receives $25,000. A total of $194,000 was donated to charity this year, bringing the five-year total to $654,000. The keynote speaker this year was long-time college football announcer Keith Jackson. “These people here tonight are some of the most important in college football,” Jackson said. Among those in attendance were USC coach Pete Carroll, former UCLA coach Terry Donahue, Heisman winner Marcus Allen and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Says Ohio State Head Coach Jim Tressel about Laurinaitis, “He’s a talented yet humble young man who brings enormous credit to the game of college football. He represents Ohio State with poise and class.”

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 fifth 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. Sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, the Lott award is given to a 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 Legends Coaches, a distinguished group of former head college coaches.

Past winners of The Lott IMPACT Trophy:
2004 – David Pollack, Georgia
2005 – DeMeco Ryans, Alabama
2006 – Dante Hughes, California
2007 – Glenn Dorsey, LSU
2008 – James Laurinaitis, Ohio State

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