Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Missouri senior linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is among nine 2009 quarterfinalists for the Lott Award.
Weatherspoon, a key producer on Missouri's back-to-back teams that made Big 12 championship games, was the only Big 12 quarterfinalist on the Lott Award's first watch list.
Other Big 12 players included were Texas Tech linebacker Brian Duncan, Texas linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy, Baylor linebacker Joe Pawelek, Kansas safety Darrell Stuckey, Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
Thirty-eight different schools are represented on the Watch List. Alabama, BYU, Georgia and UCLA each have two players nominated.
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 sixth year, The Lott Trophy is the only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the winning player.
Other quarterfinalists who joined Weatherspoon on the list include Northwestern defensive end Corey Wooton, Tennessee defensive back Eric Berry, Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich, South Carolina defensive end Eric Norwood, Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes, Kentucky defensive end Jeremy Jarmon, BYU defensive end Jan Jorgensen and South Florida defensive end George Selvie.
It's good to see some Big 12 defensive players receive some national notoriety. Because once the season begins and the offenses start clicking across the conference, it likely again will be hard for most defenders across the conference to get much positive publicity.