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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia cornerback Chase Minnifield has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the 2011 Lott IMPACT Trophy, honoring the top collegiate defensive player in the country. Minnifield is joined by Boston College’s Luke Kuechly as the only players from the ACC represented as semifinalists.

Minnifield is currently No. 3 among active FBS interception career leaders with 12 picks. The Lexington, Ky., native has 37 tackles and 5.5 tackles for a loss of 23 yards. He has two interceptions and has broken up six passes. A finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award and semifinalist for the Thorpe Award, Minnifield was also the Thorpe Award’s Defensive Back of the Week following his stellar outing against Georgia Tech on Oct. 15. At cornerback despite giving up nearly five inches in height, he held Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill to zero catches. Hill came into the game averaging 92 yards per game and an NCAA-best 32.5 yards per catch. Minnifield also snagged an interception.

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.

The eighth annual awards banquet will be held Sunday evening, Dec. 11, at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Calif. Hall of Fame broadcaster Brent Musburger will be the keynote speaker.

A National Voter Panel will select the winner and three other finalists, all of whom will be invited to the 8th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy awards banquet Dec. 11 at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach.

The winner’s school will receive $25,000 for its general scholarship fund while the three other finalists will receive $5,000 for their schools.

Previous Lott IMPACT Trophy winners:
2004: David Pollack, DL, Georgia
2005: DeMeco Ryans, LB, Alabama
2006: Dante Hughes, DB, Cal
2007: Glenn Dorsey, DL, LSU
2008: James Laurinaities, LB, Ohio State
2009: Jerry Hughes, DL, TCU
2010: J.J. Watt, DL, Wisconsin

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