Eight Big Ten defenders have been named to the preseason watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, awarded to the nation's top defender.
The honor recognizes players who excel both on and off the field and reflect the following values (IMPACT): Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Here are the Big Ten contenders:
Nebraska DT Jared Crick
Nebraska LB Lavonte David
Wisconsin S Aaron Henry
Iowa LB Tyler Nielsen
Purdue LB Joe Holland
Michigan S Jordan Kovacs
Ohio State DT John Simon
Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy
The ACC led all conferences with 11 selections, followed by the SEC (8), the Big Ten (8), the Pac-12 (6) and the Big 12 (6).
Big Ten players have claimed the Lott Trophy in two of the past three seasons. Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt took home the hardware in 2010, and Ohio State LB James Laurinaitis won it in 2008.
Nebraska's Crick was on the Lott Trophy watch list last season and looks like the Big Ten's top candidate heading into 2011.
Not a bad list overall, though I would have like to have seen more Big Ten defensive backs (Shaun Prater, Alfonzo Dennard, Jordan Mabin, Antonio Fenelus, D'Anton Lynn, Nick Sukay) earn consideration.