NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - University of Colorado senior safety Ray Polk is among 42 accomplished student-athletes in the country who have been nominated for the ninth annual Lott IMPACT Trophy, announced here Monday.
The award is presented to an individual who, as college football's defensive player of the year, demonstrates excellence in the field of athletics and who best exemplifies Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
"Each year we are proud to present a list of college football players who exemplify the things we believe in," said Ronnie Lott. "This group is no exception. These young men are terrific players and great role models, both on and off the field."
Polk, a 6-1, 205-pound free safety from Scottsdale, Ariz., has logged over 70 hours of community service at Upward Foundation that helps mentally challenged kids. He had 80 tackles last fall, including a team-best 59 unassisted stops.
The 2012 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List includes seven players from last season, headed by 2011 finalist Manti Te'o of Notre Dame. Semi-finalists John Simon of Ohio State and Brodrick Brown of Oklahoma State are also on the list as are quarter-finalists T.J. McDonald of USC, John Boyett of Oregon and Jordan Kovacs of Michigan. Brandon Jenkins of Florida State rounds out the returning nominees.
The Big Ten leads the way with nine nominees, followed by the Pac-12 with eight, the ACC and Big-12 with seven each and the SEC with five.
There are 18 linebackers, 13 defensive backs and 11 defensive linemen on the list.
Voting for the Lott IMPACT Trophy will take place throughout the season with the winner announced at the annual black-tie awards banquet Dec. 9 at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach.
The preseason candidates:
David Amerson, North Carolina State, CBJohnthan Banks, Mississippi State, CBChris Borland, Wisconsin, LBJohn Boyett, Oregon, SArthur Brown, Kansas State, LBBrodrick Brown, Oklahoma State, CBJonathan Brown, Illinois, LBMax Bullough, Michigan State, LBTra'ves Bush, Navy, SKyle Fuller, Virginia Tech, CBSteve Greer, Virginia, LBGerald Hodges, Penn State, LBDeMontre Hurst, Oklahoma, DBJackson Jeffcoat, Texas, DEBrandon Jenkins, Florida State, DEJarvis Jones, Georgia, LBA.J. Klein, Iowa State, LBJake Knott, Iowa State, LBJordan Kovacs, Michigan, SPatrick Larimore, UCLA, LBStar Lotulelei, Utah, DTBrandon Magee, Arizona State, LBT.J. McDonald, USC, SSam Montgomery, LSU, DEBrandon Ogletree, BYU, LBAlex Okafor, Texas, DEJ.C. Percy, Boise State, LBRay Polk, Colorado, SJordan Poyer, Oregon State, CBKevin Reddick, North Carolina, LBEric Reid, LSU, SLuke Ruff, Wyoming, SKawaan Short, Purdue, DTJohn Simon, Ohio State, DTBaker Steinkuhler, Nebraska, DTMike Taylor, Wisconsin, LBManti Te'o, Notre Dame, LBChase Thomas, Stanford, LBJoe Vellano, Maryland, DTZach Watts, Army, LBBjoern Werner, Florida State, DE Jesse Williams, Alabama, DT