Nov 24, 2012; Knoxville, TN, USA; Tennessee Volunteers player A.J. Johnson (45) scores a touchdown against the Kentucky Wildcats during the first half at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Vols Linebacker A.J. Johnson On Pre-Season Watch List For Lott Trophy

Tennessee Volunteers linebacker A.J. Johnson is among the 42 pre-season nominees for the Lott Trophy.

The Lott Trophy is given to the defensive impact player of the year in college football. The award takes into account both on-the-field performance and personal character. The board of directors of The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation choose the winner each year.

The award was of course named for former USC Trojan Ronnie Lott, who has been inducted into both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Lott was selected to ten Pro-Bowls and was a member of four Super Bowl winning teams.

The award was first given out in 2004, with David Pollack of Georgia winning. In all there have been three winners from the SEC, the aforementioned Pollack, DeMeco Ryans out of Alabama (2005) and Glenn Dorsey from LSU (2007).

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o won the award last season.

Johnson was named to the coaches All-SEC team last season as a sophomore. The Georgia native led the SEC with 138 tackles, which was the fourth most in the NCAA, in 2012.

Johnson was also one of the 50 players on Mel Kiper’s first 2014 big board.


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