It only took three-and-a-half months into 2010 for an Iowa football player to make a college football award watch list.
Hawkeye safety Tyler Sash has been named to the 2010 Lott Trophy Watch List, which comes as a surprise to no one watching Big Ten football . Sash was an All Big Ten selection last season, as well as a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award...as a sophomore.
Sash has 11 career interceptions for a school record 350 return yards, and he is on pace to break Nile Kinnick's career interception total, should he not decide to leave school early for greener fields in the NFL.
Last season, he recorded three interceptions, one forced fumble, and 10 tackles in Iowa's complete destruction of the Iowa State Cyclones. His three interceptions in a game was a Hawkeye record and helped him earn a share of the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.
"I treat every game the same, and whatever happens, happens," said Sash in an interview with the Cedar Rapids Gazette's Marc Morehouse last year.
"Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself," he pontificates on his Facebook wall. Sash exemplifies the Bear Bryant quote perfectly.
The Lott Trophy, named in honor of former college and NFL Hall of Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott, is presented annually to the college football defensive player of the year. Players are evaluated by their integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community involvement, and tenacity on the field.
The award is unique 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 will be announced Dec. 12 in Newport Beach, Calif. and receives $25,000 for his school’s general scholarship fund.
Five other Big Ten players made the watch list along side Sash. Purdue senior defensive end Ryan Kerrigan, Michigan State senior linebacker Greg Jones, Ohio State senior defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, Ohio State senior linebacker Ross Homan and Wisconsin junior defensive end J.J. Watt are also on the list.
Unfortunately for the other Big Ten players, 2010 is the Year of the Hawkeye.
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