NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Cal senior linebacker Mychal Kendricks has been named to the 2011 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List, adding to his preseason honors. The announcement of the watch list for the award that honors the top collegiate defensive player in the country came at a luncheon hosted Tuesday by Ronnie Lott and the Pacific Club Impact Foundation.
Last Wednesday, Kendricks was an honorable mention selection on the 2011 GoDaddy.com Preseason All-American Teams.
Kendricks earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors as one of the top big-play players in the league in 2010, leading Cal and ranking among the conference and national leaders with 8.5 sacks (0.71 per game, No. 2 Pac-10, No. 26-T NCAA) and 15.0 tackles for loss (1.25 per game, No. 4 Pac-10, No. 28-T NCAA). He was also tied for first in the Pac-10 with three fumble recoveries (0.25 per game), while his 66 tackles was fourth on the team and his average of 5.5 stops per game ranked No. 31 in the Pac-10. He added an interception. Kendricks heads into his senior season at Cal in 2011 as the team's active career leader in tackles (152), tackles for loss (22.0, -85 yards), sacks (10.5, -69 yards), fumble recoveries (5) and blocked kicks (1), while tying for the team's active lead in games played (38). His other career numbers include 18 starts, two interceptions that he has returned for 68 yards and a touchdown, three pass breakups and a forced fumble.
The 2011 list of 42 (Lott's uniform number) includes 19 defensive backs, 14 linebackers and nine defensive linemen. There are 11 players from the ACC, eight from the SEC, seven from the Big Ten, six from the Pac-10, six from the Big 12, one from the Big East, one from the Mountain West, one from the Western Athletic Conference and one from Notre Dame.
The honor is the first and only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. The Lott Trophy has been awarded annually since 2004 to the college football player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Eleven of the nominees received All-American honors a year ago and 10 were accorded academic honors in their respective conferences.
Cal's Daymeion Hughes won the Lott Trophy in 2006, while Zack Follett was a quarterfinalist in 2008, and Brandon Mebane (2008), Syd'Quan Thompson (2009) and Mike Mohamed (2010) were on previous watch lists.
This is the eighth year that the IMPACT Foundation has recognized the student-athletes throughout the nation who have had the biggest IMPACT on their teams both on and off the field. IMPACT is an acronym for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity, characteristics that Ronnie Lott exhibited throughout his brilliant Hall of Fame career at both USC and in the National Football League.
The Lott Trophy has now donated nearly $850,000 to charities since its inception in 2004, including $275,000 to 23 different universities. The winners' school receives $25,000 annually, each of the three runner-ups $5,000 and the Lott IMPACT Player of the Week $1,000.
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.
Cal is in the midst of its 2011 spring practice sessions that run through April 30.