Nov. 29, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama junior linebacker Dont'a Hightower was selected as one of four finalists for the Lott Trophy, The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation announced on Tuesday.
Hightower, a native of Franklin, Tenn., leads the Crimson Tide with a career-best 81 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss (-35 yards), 3.0 sacks (-16 yards), one interception (29 yards), three pass breakups and eight quarterback hurries.
Hightower also quarterbacks a defense that leads the nation in scoring defense (8.8 points per game), total defense (191.3 yards per game), rush defense (74.9 ypg), pass defense (116.3 ypg) and pass efficiency defense (83.9).
The annual Lott Trophy Banquet will be held December 11, at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Calif., where the winner will be announced. The banquet will be televised live on Fox Sports West with ABC broadcaster Brent Musburger handling the keynote address.
The other three finalists are Emmanuel Acho of Texas, Luke Kuechly of Boston College and Manti Te'o of Notre Dame.
"These are outstanding football players, who represent their universities with distinction and honor," said Ronnie Lott. "They are terrific players who also excel off the field with their character, integrity and hard work in the classroom. I'm excited to meet them at our awards banquet."
Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, the Lott Trophy is awarded to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Now in its eighth year, the Lott Trophy is the first college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.
Sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation in Newport Beach, the award is given to the player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Hightower is Alabama's third finalist, joining DeMeco Ryans, who won the award in 2005, and 2009 finalist Rolando McClain. Other past winners include David Pollack (2004, Georgia), Ryans (2005), Dante Hughes (2006, California), Glenn Dorsey (2007, LSU), James Laurinaitis (2008, Ohio State), Jerry Hughes (2009, TCU) and J.J. Watt (2010, Wisconsin).
The IMPACT Foundation will award $25,000 to the general scholarship fund of the winner's university with each of the runner-up's school receiving $5,000.
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