Newport Beach, CA – The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has announced the four finalists for the 15th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy.
The four-outstanding student-athletes are Josh Allen of Kentucky, Ben Burr-Kirven of Washington, Christian Wilkins of Clemson and Ben Humphreys of Duke.
Allen was a consensus mid-season All-American as Kentucky (9-3, 5-3 in conference) posted its first winning season in the SEC in 41 years. He is also a finalist for the Butkus, Nagurski and Bednarik awards.
Burr-Kirven is coming off a sensational senior season with 155 tackles as the Huskies (9-3) prepare to play Utah this Saturday in the Pac-12 Championship Game. He has been named the Pac-12 Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Humphreys, from Newport Beach (Mater Dei High) has 273 career tackles at Duke (7-5) where he is majoring in public policy with a minor in economics.
Wilkins, an Outland Trophy finalist as the best interior lineman in the country, anchors the dominant Clemson (11-0) line and has been doing it for four years. He graduated from college in 2 ½ years and has worked as a substitute school teacher.
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 2018 Lott IMPACT Trophy will be announced at The Lott IMPACT Trophy Award Banquet, held at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach on Dec. 9. The award show will be live streamed. Joel Klatt of FOX Sports will serve as the emcee.
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 runners-up. In 14 years, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has now donated more than $1.5 million, including nearly $650,000 to universities throughout the country.
2018 Lott IMPACT Trophy Finalists:
*Josh Allen, LB/DE, Sr., Kentucky (9-3)
(6-5, 260, Montclair, NJ)
Three-time Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week and four-time SEC Defensive Player of the Week. Butkus, Nagurski and Bednarik Finalist. Unanimous mid-season All-American. Has 18.5 tackles for losses (11th in country), 14 sacks (2nd in country), 5 forced fumbles (leads nation), 2 fumble recoveries, 6 quarterback hurries and 84 total tackles (most on the team). Last season: All-SEC 2nd team, 65 tackles, led team with 9.5 tackles for losses and six sacks, Kentucky career leader in sacks.
“I can’t say enough good things about Josh. He is a genuinely good guy. He cares for his teammates and I’ve seen him grow since he came to school,” – Jen Smith, Kentucky beat reporter for Lexington Herald-Leader, Josh has donated time for Special Olympics and children’s cancer research program.
*Ben Burr-Kirven, LB, Sr., Washington (9-3)
(6-0, 222, Menlo Park, CA)
His 155 tackles are second in the nation… That’s twice as many as anyone on team. Has 4 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, 5 passes broken up, 4 tackles for losses and a two sacks. Career: On the Watch List last year, three-time academic All-District and All Pac-12 with a 3.69 GPA in comparative literature, cinema and media studies, Led Huskies with 84 tackles last season, named 2nd team All-Pac-12. ESPN mid-season All-American and twice the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week. He has been named the Pac-12 Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
*Ben Humphreys, LB, Sr., Duke (7-5)
(6-2, 225, Newport Beach, CA)
Has 66 total tackles, 5.5 tackles for losses, a sack, a blocked kick, 2 forced fumbles and 3 quarterback hurries. 273 career tackles. Prepped at Mater Dei, lives in Newport Beach. Majoring in public policy studies while minoring in economics and pursuing a certificate in markets and management. Academic All-ACC as soph, Winner of Glenn Davis Army award in high school for outstanding performance and service. Presented with the “Ronald McDonald House Heart of Gold Award” recognizing his leadership, service and generosity. Began relationship with 5-yar-old boy who has Pelizaeus-Mersbacher Disease and visits him frequently. Finalist for Campbell Trophy (academic Heisman). Team captain.
*Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson (11-0)
(6-4, 300, Springfield, MA)
Mid-season All-American, has made All-American teams in each of his last three seasons at Clemson (the defending national champions). Has 48 tackles, 13 tackles for losses, 5 sacks and 10 quarterback hurries. Has also scored two touchdowns on one-yard runs this season. Two-time All-American with 258 career tackles, 44.5 tackles for losses. Lott Quarter-Finalist last year. Team captain. CoSIDA Academic All Regional. Graduated from Clemson in 2 ½ years. Finalist for Campbell Trophy for academic excellence. Spent his off-season as a substitute school teacher, often volunteering to work with children in need of special education.
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 – Carl Nassib, Penn State
2016 – Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
2017 – Josey Jewell, Iowa