Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown was announced Sunday evening as the winner of the Lott IMPACT Trophy, awarded to college football’s defensive player of the year based on character and performance.
The 6-foot-5-inch, 318-pound Brown was the Southeastern Conference’s defensive player of the year after making a team-high equaling 12.5 tackles for a loss. He was a finalist for the Outland Trophy as college football’s best interior lineman and the Chuck Bednarik Award as college football’s best defensive player.
Tigers coach Gus Malzahn called Brown “a dominant player and even better person.”
Brown was announced as the winner of the award one day after receiving his marketing degree from Auburn’s Harbert College of Business.
The other finalists were Ohio State safety Jordan Fuller, Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons and California linebacker Evan Weaver.
Brown, Fuller and Weaver are seniors while Simmons is a junior.
The Lott IMPACT Trophy is the only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the player’s personal character attributes. It is the first national college football award based on the West Coast. It has been presented annually since 2004.
Past recipients include J.J. Watt and Manti Te’o.
IMPACT is an acronym for integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity. The traits are based on the attributes of the award’s namesake, Ronnie Lott.
Lott played safety for USC from 1977-80 and for four NFL teams from 1981-1995. He was selected to both the college and professional football halls of fame.
Auburn’s general scholarship fund will receive a $25,000 donation, while the other three finalists’ schools will each receive $5,000 from the IMPACT Foundation, which recognizes and supports national and local charities serving youths.
The announcement was made at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach.
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