IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa junior defensive end Anthony Nelson has been named one of 42 candidates for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. The announcement was made by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, which is responsible for honoring the nation’s best defensive IMPACT player at the end of the season.
The 42 nominees represent the finest in college football -- defensive players who have had the biggest IMPACT on their teams both on and off the field. IMPACT stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
In 2017, Nelson (6-foot-7, 271 pounds) was a third-team All-Big Ten selection a year ago after leading the team with a career-high 7.5 sacks, fifth most in the Big Ten. His fourth-quarter sack against Boston College quarterback Darius Wade resulted in a fumble that ultimately led to Iowa’s game-winning touchdown.
Nelson totaled 41 tackles, including 9.5 for loss, while also recording four pass break-ups, two forced fumbles, and a blocked field goal. The Urbandale, Iowa, native started all 13 games last season on a team that won eight games including the Pinstripe Bowl.
Nelson was one of four sophomores named to the 2017 Leadership Group and was a first-team Academic All-American. He is also a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
The Watch List includes 21 linebackers, 11 defensive backs and 10 defensive linemen. Nine different conferences (and two independents) are represented with the Pac-12 leading the way with 11 student-athletes. Half of the candidates, 21, have received some form of academic recognition during their college careers to date.
Former Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell was voted the winner of the Lott IMPACT Trophy winner last year. James Morris was a finalist for the award in 2013, while Desmond King was a semifinalist in 2016.
Candidates will be evaluated during the season with a Player of the Week chosen each week (and his school receiving $1,000 for its general scholarship fund). The four finalists will attend the Lott IMPACT Trophy Banquet on Dec. 9, in Newport Beach (with his school receiving $25,000 for its general scholarship fund).
Iowa will open the 2018 season at home against Northern Illinois on Sept. 1, in Kinnick Stadium. For ticket information visit hawkeyesports.com/fightforiowa