May 15, 2017
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia free safety Quin Blanding and inside linebacker Micah Kiser have been named to the 2017 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List, honoring the top collegiate defensive student-athlete in the country that exhibits the characteristics displayed by Ronnie Lott during his legendary college and professional careers. IMPACT stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics and Tenacity.
It is the second year in a row the duo have been named to the preseason watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy.
Blanding (Virginia Beach, Va.) was named a Sporting News and Sports Illustrated second-team All-American in 2016. A two-time first-team All-ACC honoree, Blanding started all 12 games for UVA in 2016 and finished the year No. 2 in the ACC and No. 9 in the nation with 10.0 tackles per game. Blanding has finished the past three seasons No. 2 in the ACC in tackles and his 358 career stops currently ranks No. 9 all-time in the UVA annals.
Kiser (Baltimore, Md.) was a Football Writers Association of America second-team All-American in 2016 after finishing No. 1 in the ACC and No. 4 in the nation with 11.2 tackles per game. The two-time first-team All-ACC honoree has led the league in tackles each of the past two seasons.
Since the ACC began tracking tackle leaders in 1990, no defensive duo from the same team has finished No. 1 and No. 2 in the league in tackles in back-to-back years.
There are 42 nominated players (Lott’s uniform number) representing 38 different universities throughout the country. UVA joins Penn State, Ohio State and USC as the only school with at least two members on the watch list. There are only nine players from eight ACC teams on the watch list.
The winner, announced in December at a gala black-tie dinner, will receive $25,000 for his school’s general scholarship fund while each of three runner-ups will receive $5,000 each for their schools.
Additionally, one athlete is chosen as Player of the Week each week during the season, earning $1,000 for his school.
Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, the Board of Directors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation and a distinguished group of former college football head coaches.
A national voter panel of more than 300 former college coaches, players and members of the media, vote on the award.
The 14th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy Awards will be held Dec. 10th at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Calif.