“IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT, THE MIND CAN ACHIEVE IT.”
Lott IMPACT Trophy Finalist Profile: Devon Kennard – Sr. Linebacker, USC
USC Linebacker – Senior – 6’ 3” – 260lbs – Phoenix, AZ
Few numbers in sports are more revered than No. 42.
In baseball, they made a movie about it this year—the story of the first African-American to play in the ma- jors: Jackie Robinson. Because of Robinson and his influence on the game, No. 42 has been permanently retired by all 30 major league teams.
In football, the No. 42 is held to the highest of standards at USC where the great All-American Ronnie Lott wore the number proudly and magnificently during his Trojan career.
So it comes as no surprise that the current No. 42 at USC exemplifies much of the attributes that Lott stands for. His name is Devon Kennard and he is the first Trojan to be a finalist for the award named after the most famous of USC 42s – The Lott IMPACT® Trophy. Kennard is everything the Lott IMPACT® Trophy stands for: An honor student in the class- room, a volunteer in the community and a force on the football field.
Let’s look at his IMPACT® resume:
Integrity: He’s visited kids with cancer in the hospital, fed the homeless on skid row and made a mission trip to Haiti.
Maturity: Has served as a team captain for the Trojans this season. He’s almost like a coach on the field right now for us,” says USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron.
Performance: He’s recorded 48 tackles this year, eight sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss, had a fumble recovery, eight quarterback hurries and four passes broken up. He was a mid-season All Pac-12 selection. In USC’s big win over Oregon State in Corvallis, Kennard recorded the only two sacks the Trojan defense had all night. Academics: He graduated in three years with a 3.23 grade point average, is now in the Masters program with a thesis on college recruiting and twice has been on the Pac-12 All-Academic team.
Community: Visited kids facing cancer at the children’s hospital in Los Angeles for the entire 2012 season while he was out with an injur.
Tenacity: Came back from a torn chest muscle injury that sidelined him for all of 2012. John Mosbach, the USC Assistant Athletic Director has this to say about Devon: “Most important to me above all else is Devon’s character. He always has been a pleasure to work with in every situation. His demeanor and study habits are second to none. Because of this Devon has earned the respect of teammates, coaches, professors, and others. He has been a great leader for not only the football team and other student athletes, but all students on campus.”
Kennard has worked with Power Direct Energy and that company’s Chief Operating Officer Stuart Hayden says: “His business plan he developed is a comprehensive approach for setting up a charitable foundation to assist underprivileged youth through summer football camps.”
Kennard is 6-3, 255-pounder from Phoenix who has the DNA to continue playing on Sundays. His father, Derek, had an 11-year NFL career following an All-American career as an offensive lineman at Nevada.
Devon Kennard, No. 42. Fitting.