FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas Sam Olajubutu continues to make the cut when it comes to national awards. On Thursday, the senior was named as one of 17 quarterfinalists for the Lott Trophy.
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 third year, The Lott Trophy is the first college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.
“It is a tribute to Sam’s efforts on and off the field for him to be a quarterfinalist for the Lott Trophy,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “He has grown and matured as a football player and a person since the time he arrived on campus. I’m proud of what he has done and what he means to our team.”
Olajubutu is posting a stellar senior campaign leading the Razorbacks and ranking among SEC defensive leaders with 72 tackles. He has earned 6.5 tackles for loss (-17) and a team-best 12 quarterback hurries. A Butkus Award and Bednarik Award semifinalist, he was also named a mid-season All-American by CollegeFootballNews.com. He has played in 31 consecutive games, but is expected to miss this weekend’s game against Louisiana-Monroe due to injury.
Eight different conferences are represented on the list of 17 Lott Trophy quarterfinalists with the Big 10 leading the way with five candidates. Michigan and Texas were the only two schools with two quarterfinalists. There is nearly equal distribution by position with six linebackers, six defensive linemen and five defensive backs.
Sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, the Lott award is given to a player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
David Pollack of Georgia and DeMeco Ryans of Alabama were the winners of the first two Lott Trophies. Both Georgia and Alabama received $25,000 for their general scholarship funds. In two years, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation has donated $170,000 to various charities, in addition to the two universities.
Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, the Board of Directors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation and Master Coaches, a distinguished group of former head college coaches. The watch list will be trimmed to seven semifinalists on Nov. 9 and the three finalists will be announced Nov. 27.
The winner will be announced at a gala black-tie banquet at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach on Dec. 10.
2006 Lott Trophy Quarterfinalists
H.B. Blades, Sr., LB, Pitt
Mkistro Bruce, Sr., DE, Washington State
Tim Crowder, Sr., DE, Texas
Buster Davis, Sr., LB, Florida State
Michael Griffin, Sr., DB, Texas
Korey Hall, Sr., LB, Boise State
Leon Hall, Sr., CB, Michigan
Daymeion Hughes, Sr., CB, Cal
LaRon Landry, Sr., S, LSU
Quentin Moses, Sr., DE, Georgia
Sam Olajubutu, Sr., LB, Arkansas
Quinn Pitcock, Sr., DT, Ohio State
Paul Posluszny, Sr., LB, Penn State
Anthony Spencer, Sr., DE, Purdue
Eric Weddle, Sr., DB, Utah
Patrick Willis, Sr., LB, Mississippi
LaMarr Woodley, Sr., DE, Michigan