Last season, Wisconsin Badgers OLB Nick Herbig had a great season. He recorded 64 tackles, 14.5 for losses and nine sacks and this year he has vowed to be even more disruptive and, dare I say, impactful on defense. Well, we aren’t the only ones who think that as Herbig was named to the Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list last week.
Per their website, the award is named after former NFL Hall of Fame star Ronnie Lott, The Lott Trophy annually goes to the Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year, a player 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, all characteristics exhibited by Lott during his illustrious playing career.
Current defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard was a finalist for the award in 2004, defensive end J.J. Watt won the award in 2010 and ILB Chris Borland was a finalist in 2013. Last season, Michigan defensive lineman, and first round pick of the Detroit Lions, Aidan Hutchinson won the award, making it the second straight year a player from the Big Ten (2020, Northwestern LB Paddy Fisher) took home the honors.
Other Big Ten players that are on the watch list include Iowa LB Jack Campbell, Ohio State DE Zach Harrison, Michigan State S Xavier Henderson, Ohio State S Ronnie Hickman, Iowa DB Riley Moss, Penn State CB Joey Porter Jr. and Nebraska LB Luke Reimer.