Eight Pac-10 defenders are on the watch list for the 2010 Lott Award, which is named after former USC All-American Ronnie Lott.
The award is unique, the release says, "because it represents the first trophy to give equal weight to personal character as well as athletic performance from a defensive college player."
The winner, announced in December, receives $25,000 for his school’s general scholarship fund. Three runner-ups each receive $5,000.
Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, members of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation Board of Directors, the Legends Coaches and distinguished alumni of various schools around the nation.
Pac-10 players on the list are:
Akeem Ayers, LB, UCLA
Tom Keiser, LB, Stanford
Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon
Mike Mohamed, LB, California
Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State
Kenny Rowe, DE, Oregon
Malcolm Smith, LB, USC
Rahim Moore, S, UCLA