CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Pacific Club IMPACT® Foundation announced Virginia defensive end Chico Bennett Jr., has been announced as a candidate for the 2023 Lott IMPACT® Trophy at a luncheon today in Newport Beach, the twentieth season of this award. He is one of 42 candidates announced by the foundation.
An honorable mention All-ACC selection in 2022, Bennett will be a graduate student for the Cavaliers in 2023. In 2022, he started nine games and led the Cavaliers with seven sacks. He was twice named the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week. He finished his first season at UVA with 34 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss. He also forced a pair of fumbles and recovered one fumble. Bennett returned to action after missing the 2021 campaign due to a knee injury. A native of Ashburn, Va., he enrolled at UVA in the spring of 2020 after transferring from Georgia Tech.
The 42-man Lott IMPACT® Trophy Watch List is comprised of 16 linebackers, 13 defensive backs and 13 defensive linemen. There are nine players from SEC schools, the most of any conference, followed by the Big Ten and Pac 12 with eight players each. There are six players from both the Big 12 and ACC, with an additional five from non-Power 5 conference schools.
The Lott IMPACT® Trophy is the only major college football award that considers character.
Named after former NFL Hall of Fame star Ronnie Lott, The Lott Trophy annually goes to the Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year, a player who has had the biggest impact on his team both on and off the field.
IMPACT stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity, all characteristics exhibited by Lott during his illustrious playing career.
The annual winner is selected by a national voter panel, consisting of former winners, members of the media, coaches, and members of the Board of Directors of The IMPACT® Foundation.
The winner is announced at a gala black-tie event at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, California December 10, 2023.