One Year Ago Today (December 12, 2021)…Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson received the Lott IMPACT Trophy in Newport Beach, one day after it was announced he finished second in voting for the Heisman Trophy.
After being presented with the trophy awarded to college football’s defensive player of the year based on character and performance, Hutchinson continued the tradition of the winner autographing a red No. 42 resembling what the trophy’s namesake, Ronnie Lott, wore with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers. The trophy is kept in a case at The Pacific Club, where the ceremony is held.
“I’m glad to be a part of the club,” Hutchinson said. “I’m really grateful for this award. It’s been a blessing.”
The Lott IMPACT Trophy was the latest in a series of honors for Hutchinson over the past week, which began with his being recognized for his academic success as one of the National Football Foundation’s Scholar-Athletes. Midweek, he received the Rotary Lombardi Award as college football’s best lineman, offense or defense, and the Ted Hendricks Trophy as the top defensive end.
The conference coaches voted Hutchinson as the Chicago Tribune Silver Football Award recipient as the Big Ten’s Most Valuable Player. He was also selected as a first-team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation and the Football Writers Association of America during the week.
Hutchinson is third nationally in sacks per game, averaging 1.08, despite being double-teamed most of the time. The 6-foot-6-inch, 265-pound Hutchinson leads Michigan’s defensive line with 58 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
The other finalists were Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd and two Georgia teammates, nose tackle Jordan Davis and linebacker Nakobe Dean. All the finalists are seniors, except for Dean, a junior.
Michigan’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 Lott IMPACT Trophy is the first college football award to give equal weight to personal character as well as athletic performance from a defensive player and 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 Lott’s attributes.
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.