LEXINGTON, Ky. – – Kentucky linebacker Courtney Love has been named one of 20 quarterfinalists by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation for the 2017 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List.
The 20 players represent the best college defensive players in the nation who make the biggest IMPACT on their team both on and off the field. IMPACT is an acronym for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Named after Pro Football Hall of Fame member, Ronnie Lott, The Lott IMPACT Trophy is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Founded in 2004 by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, The Lott Trophy is the first and only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. The Lott Trophy is given to the player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Love has started at linebacker in 19 straight games for Kentucky, earning a team captain role in 18 of them. The 6-foot-2 senior currently leads the team in tackles with 43 and is tied for fifth nationally and tied for second in the Southeastern Conference in fumble recoveries with two. He’s coming off a career-best game vs. Missouri, recording 10 tackles and a fumble recovery to help the Wildcats improve to 5-1 this season.
Love also excels in the community and the classroom. The 2017 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team member leads the team in community service hours and has a passion for mentoring children especially those living in a one-parent household or children who have parents who are incarcerated. Because of his passion, he volunteers weekly at Amachi Central Kentucky, a mentoring program that seeks to pair caring, positive adults with children and youth in the Bluegrass who have one of both parents in state or federal prison or are affected by incarceration in some way.
In addition to volunteering with Amachi, he has served in a Skype mentoring program with area high school students and has taken part in many events with the UK Children’s Hospital, Read Across America, Special Olympics, along with many other service activities. In May of 2016, Love was chosen to participate in a service/educational trip to Ethiopia where he helped build houses as well as shoe-shining boxes for men to be able to work and provide for their families. He also delivered food to impoverished families and visited with orphans and widows.
In the classroom, Love was named to the 2016 SEC Academic Honor Roll and graduated in May of 2017 with a degree in community and leadership development. He is currently working on a second degree in communications. He also serves as one of UK football’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representatives.
Semifinalists will be announced Nov. 8 and four finalists will be announced Nov. 28. The finalists will attend the Lott IMPACT Trophy Awards Banquet Dec. 10 at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach where the winner will be announced by Ronnie Lott. Each of the schools of the finalists will receive $5,000 for their general scholarship fund while the school of the winner will receive $25,000.
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. To date, the Foundation has donated more than $1.4 million to various charities throughout the country.
The 2017 Lott IMPACT Trophy Quarter-Finalists:
Marcus Allen, S, Penn State
Quin Blanding, S, Virginia
Ben Burr-Kirven, LB, Washington
Jason Cabinda, LB, Penn State
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Zaire Franklin, LB, Syracuse
Derwin James, CB, Florida State
Malik Jefferson, DE, Texas
Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa
Micah Kiser, LB, Virginia
Christian LaCouture, DL, LSU
Tyquan Lewis, DE, Ohio State
Courtney Love, LB, Kentucky
Hercules Mata’afa, DL, Washington State
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, LB, Oklahoma
Harrison Phillips, DL, Stanford
Cameron Smith, LB, USC
Drue Tranquill, S, Notre Dame
Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson