Dec. 11, 2011
NEWPORT BEACH, Ca. - Boston College Linebacker Luke Kuechly was named the 2011 winner of the Lott IMPACT Trophy at the annual awards banquet here Sunday night.
The 6-3, 237-pound junior from Cincinnati led the nation in tackles each of the past two seasons and this year was named the winner of the Butkus Award as the top linebacker in the country and the Lombardi Award as the top lineman/linebacker. He has recorded a school and ACC record 532 tackles in just three seasons.
The other finalists for the award were Emmanuel Acho of Texas, Dont'a Hightower of Alabama and Manti Te'o of Notre Dame.
Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, the Lott is awarded to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. The Lott Trophy is the only college football award where character counts. The student-athlete must be making an IMPACT on the field as well as off the field in such areas as academics, community and leadership. IMPACT is an acronym for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Boston College will receive $25,000 for its general scholarship fund in recognition of Kuechly's achievement. Each of the runnerups schools received $5,000.
In addition to his prodigious skills on the field, Kuechly is an honor student at Boston College, an officer on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for the second straight year and a participant in the HEAR (Help Educate through Athletic Responsibility) Program, which involves him visiting local schools and sharing experiences as student-athletes.
Boston College Dean Andrew Boynton said this about Kuechly: ""I have been a university professor for over fifteen years and a dean at Boston College for six and Luke is the most impressive student-athlete I have met. He has a very, very high standard for himself in all areas. What strikes me, and everyone, about Luke are his values, maturity, integrity and modesty.
Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer, the most recent winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor, was presented with an Honorary Lott IMPACT Trophy.
The IMPACT Trophy is sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation in Newport Beach.
In eight years, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has donated $400,000 to universities throughout the country and nearly $1 million to all charities.
Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, the Board of Directors of the IMPACT Foundation, the IMPACT Foundation Board of Advisors and former college coaches and players.
Past winners of The Lott IMPACT Trophy:
2004 - David Pollack, Georgia
2005 - DeMeco Ryans, Alabama
2006 - Dante Hughes, California
2007 - Glenn Dorsey, LSU
2008 - James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
2009 - Jerry Hughes, TCU
2010 - J.J. Watt, Wisconsin
2011 - Luke Kuechly, Boston College