KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (utsports.com) -- Tennessee defensive back Prentiss Waggner is one of 42 preseason candidates for the 2011 Lott IMPACT Trophy Award, which honors the top collegiate defensive player in the nation. The Lott IMPACT Trophy Award Watch List was announced at a recent luncheon hosted by Ronnie Lott and the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation.
Waggner, who earned Associated Press second team All-SEC and Scout.com second team All-America honors in 2010, broke the UT season record for interceptions returned for touchdowns, taking an NCAA FBS-leading three to the end zone.
The Clinton, La., native tied for seventh in the FBS and first in the SEC with three recovered fumbles last season, while also tying for the team lead with five INTs. His eight total takeaways were the most by a Vol since Deon Grant picked off nine passes in 1999.
Additionally, Waggner recorded 57 tackles, to rank fifth on the squad, along with nine passes defended, which was second among the Vols.
Waggner is one of 19 defensive backs and eight SEC student-athletes that are eligible to win the eighth annual Lott Trophy. In 2009, former UT defensive back Eric Berry became the Vols’ first finalist for the prestigious award.
Previous recipients of the Lott Trophy are: 2004, David Pollack (Georgia); 2005, DeMeco Ryans (Alabama); 2006, Dante Hughes (California); 2007, Glenn Dorsey (LSU); 2008, James Laurinaitis (Ohio State); 2009, Jerry Hughes (TCU); and 2010, J.J. Watt (Wisconsin).
Sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation in Newport Beach, the award is given to the player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
A national voter panel, made up of more than 200 former collegiate stars, former college coaches, members of the media and both the Lott IMPACT Board of Directors and Board of Advisors, will select the four finalists who will be honored at the annual Lott IMPACT Trophy banquet Dec. 11 in Newport Beach.
For more information on the Lott Trophy, visit www.LottImpactTrophy.com