Three Big Ten players are among 10 semifinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation announced Thursday.
Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers, Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan and Iowa cornerback Desmond King are all candidates for the award, which honors the nation’s best defensive player on and off the field.
The award, named after former USC and NFL defensive back Ronnie Lott, is voted on by a panel of former coaches, players, selected media and previous Lott IMPACT Trophy winners.
Peppers, a junior, is second in the Big Ten in tackles for loss while playing linebacker and safety. He also returns punts and runs the ball on offense. McMillan, a junior, ranks among the conference leaders in tackles and serves as a cornerstone of a tough Buckeyes defense. And King, a senior, is near the top of Big Ten leaderboards in tackles and passes defended. He is also one of the conference’s best kick returners.
The Lott IMPACT Trophy has been handed out 12 times since being created in 2004, and Big Ten players have represented a quarter of the winners. Past Big Ten honorees are Penn State’s Carl Nassib (2015), Wisconsin’s J.J. Watt (2010) and Ohio State’s James Laurainitis (2008).
Four finalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy will be announced Nov. 29, with a winner crowned at a banquet in Newport Beach, Calif., on Dec. 11.