By City News Service
The Lott IMPACT Trophy, awarded to college football's defensive IMPACT player of the year, will be presented tonight in Newport Beach with UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr and USC outside linebacker Devon Kennard among the four finalists.
The Lott IMPACT Trophy is the only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. IMPACT is an acronym for integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity. It is named for NFL and College Hall of Famer membe Ronnie Lott.
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Barr was a first-team All-Pacific-12 Conference selection. He led the Bruins in tackles for losses with 20 and quarterback sacks with 10. He also participated in youth and outreach programs.
The 6-foot-3, 260-pound Kennard was a second-team All-Pacific-12 Conference selection. He led the Trojans with nine quarterback sacks and was second in tackles for losses with 13. Volunteer projects he has participated include a trip to Haiti, visiting hospitals and feeding the homeless.
Kennard wears the same number at USC as the trophy's namesake, Ronnie Lott, did -- 42.
The other two finalists are Iowa linebacker James Morris and Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland. All four finalists are seniors.
The winner is determined by a vote of members of the national media, previous finalists, the Board of Directors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation and former college football coaches.
The general scholarship fund of the winner's university will receive a $25,000 donation, while the other three finalists' schools will each receive $5,000 from the IMPACT Foundation, which recognizes and supports national and local charities serving youths.
The award has been presented annually since 2004 and is named for Lott, who played safety for USC from 1977-80 and for four NFL teams from 1981-1995. He was selected to both the college and professional football halls of fame.
Pacific-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott will be the keynote speaker at The Pacific Club ceremony.