Nov. 27, 2006
BERKELEY - California cornerback Daymeion Hughes was named a finalist for The Lott Trophy, it was announced on Monday by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation. It is the second major honor of the day for the senior from Los Angeles, who was selected the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year as well on Monday.
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 honor is the first and only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.
Hughes, also a two-time first-team all-conference selection, ranks second in the nation with eight interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns. In addition, he has recorded 62 tackles and 11 pass break-ups. For his career, he has 15 interceptions to rank second all-time in Cal history. The Los Angeles native has been very active with the community both in his hometown and his collegiate home in the Bay Area. Some of his activities include assisting with youth football leagues and speaking at high school and Pop Warner banquets.
"This is a great honor and I would like to thank Ronnie Lott and the committee for selecting me," Hughes said. "I have always tried to play at the highest level and any personal recognition is always a blessing; but we still have two games left. I hope to continue to perform to the best of my abilities and help my team succeed."
The other two finalists are defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock of Ohio State and linebacker Paul Posluszny of Penn State.
"It is an honor to have these three fine young men as finalists for the award," said Lott. "They are each a credit to the game of football, to their school and to their families."
The winner will be announced at a gala black-tie banquet at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach Dec. 10. The key-note speaker at this year's event will be Pro Football Hall of Famer and long-time Monday Night Football announcer Frank Gifford,
Sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, The Lott Trophy is given to a player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Pitcock, a 295-pound senior from Piqua, Ohio, has eight sacks for the undefeated and No. 1-ranked Buckeyes. He is on the academic honor roll and volunteers at camps for underprivileged kids.
Posluszny, a senior from Aliquippa, Pa., was the winner of The Butkus and Bednarik Awards last year. He is Penn State's all-time leading tackler with 364 and has been the Big 10 Defensive Player of the Week five times. An Academic All-American last season, he has made the Dean's List five of six semesters and maintains a 3.56 grade point average in finance.
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 Lott Trophy finalists, the Board of Directors and Board of Advisors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation and Master Coaches, a distinguished group of former head college coaches.
The Golden Bears have posted an 8-3 record going into this Saturday's "Big Game" against Stanford. It is the fifth straight season that Cal has posted a winning record, marking the first time since 1947-52 that the Bears have accomplished that. In addition, Cal will advance to a fourth straight bowl game for the first time in program history.