NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.--Arizona's standout senior defensive back Antone Cason has been named a quarter-finalist for the annual Lott Trophy.
The Lott Trophy is named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott and goes to the outstanding college defensive player of the year who has had the biggest IMPACT on his team both on and off the field. IMPACT stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity. It represents the only college football trophy to give equal weight to personal character as well as athletic performance.
Sponsored by the The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, the Lott Trophy has donated nearly $300,000 to various charities throughout the United States in just three years.
The previous winners have been David Pollack of Georgia in 2004, DeMeco Ryans of Alabama in 2005 and Daymeion Hughes of Cal in 2006. Ryans went on to be named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year last season with the Houston Texans.
The four finalists will be flown to Newport Beach, Calif. for the banquet. The university of the winner will receive $25,000 for its general scholarship fund while the three universities of the runnerups will receive $5,000 each for their general scholarship fund.
Voters for The Lott Trophy are college offensive and defensive coordinators, former head coaches who make up the Master Coaches, the Board of Directors of The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, The Lott Trophy Board of Advisors and selected members of the national media.
The Dec. 9 black-tie banquet at The Pacific Club, already sold out for the fourth consecutive year, will be televised live by Fox Sports. Hall of Famer Merlin Olsen will receive The Lott Trophy Lifetime IMPACT Award. There will also be a video tribute to the late Bill Walsh, a founding member of the Board.
Former banquets have featured Bill Walsh, John Robinson, Terry Donahue, Frank Gifford, Marcus Allen, Jack Kemp, Mike Garrett, Pat Haden and Will Ferrell as keynote speakers.
A quick look at this yearˇ?s quarter-finalists:
*Antoine Cason (Arizona defensive back): Smooth cornerback on mid-season All-America teams. Three interceptions, one punt return for a touchdown in 2007. Promotes Cason Cares wristband program at Arizona with monies to?cancer research. Will graduate in December. Team captain.
*Jordon Dizon (Colorado linebacker): Leads the nation in tackles with 101. Mid-season All-American All-American. Academic All Big 12. Team captain.
*Glenn Dorsey (LSU defensive tackle): Considered by many the best defensive lineman in the country. Has 4 sacks, 6.5 tackles for losses. Mid-season All-American.
*Sedrick Ellis (USC defensive tackle): Exceptionally strong player, anchors highly regarded Trojan defense. Has 27 tackles, 5.5 sacks, one fumble recovery. Mid-season All-American.
* Nic Harris (Oklahoma defensive back): Mid-season All-American. President of campus Bridge Builders (community work)
*Derrick Harvey (Florida defensive end): One of leading pass rushers in the country. Has 6.5 sacks this year.
*Jonathan Hefney (Tennessee defensive back): Winner of CareActer Star Athlete of the Week. Will graduate in December. Highly regarded cover man with 36 tackles so far this season.
*Cody Kase (New Mexico linebacker): Outstanding student (Academic All-American) who has a 4.01 gpa. Never gotten B or less in college. Nominated for Draddy Trophy (academic excellence).
* Nick Larkin (Boston College defensive lineman): Has graduated from BC with degree in psychology. Works in BCˇ?s Generation Pulse publicity team and Hopes for Hope volunteer.
*James Laurinaitis (Ohio State linebacker): Nagurski award winner as sophomore last season, he is an academic All-American and leads the Buckeyes in tackles. Mid-season All-American. Numerous speaking engagements in and around Columbus.
*J Leman (Illinois linebacker): Mid-season All-American, Big 10 leader in tackles. Two-time team captain. Graduated in three years with 3.7 GPA. Will complete Masterˇ?s program in December. Raising money for local childrenˇ?s home.
*Chris Long (Virginia defensive end): Has 10 quarterback sacks to date, third best in the country. Mid-season All-American. Two-time team captain. Frequent speaker at schools in Charlottesville area. Son of Hall of Famer Howie Long.
*Dwight Lowery (San Jose State defensive back): Led the country in interceptions last season with nine. Has three interceptions so far this year. First All-American at San Jose State since 1971.
*Ben Moffitt (South Florida linebacker): Leads surprising Bulls in tackles. Married with two children, he commutes 110 miles daily so his family can live in small-town atmosphere. Team captain.
*Keith Rivers (USC linebacker): Trojansˇ? leading tackler. Will graduate on time.
*Wesley Woodyard (Kentucky linebacker): Among the leading tacklers in the country. Mid-season All-American. SEC academic honor roll. Named to UK Athletics Society of Character. Will graduate in 3 ? years.
*Tom Zbikowski (Notre Dame safety): Hard-hitting Irish veteran is skilled punt returner as well. A professional boxer in the off-season, he donated all $50,000 of his proceeds for his last fight to charity.