Brett Pyne | Posted: 20 May 2022 | Updated: 24 Jun 2022

Bywater named to 2022 Lott Trophy watch list

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Ben Bywater named to 2022 Lott Impact Trophy Watch List

PROVO, Utah – BYU sophomore linebacker Ben Bywater has been named one of 42 candidates for the 2022 Lott IMPACT Trophy awarded annually to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. 

Bywater is one of 15 linebackers in the country named to this year's watch list by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation. The list of candidates also includes 14 defensive backs and 13 defensive linemen. 

Named after former NFL Hall of Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott, The Lott Trophy annually is awarded to a defensive player who has had the biggest impact on his team both on and off the field.  IMPACT stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity, all characteristics exhibited by Lott during his illustrious playing career.

A 6-foot-3, 230-pound athlete from Salt Lake City, Bywater excelled for the Cougars last year on an off the field. One of three members of BYU's 2021 team to earn CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team honors, Bywater is a finance major with a 3.86 GPA. In his first season as a starter last year, the Olympus High School product led the Cougars with 102 tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss. He had eight or more tackles in nine different games including 10 and 13 takedowns in wins over Pac-12 opponents Arizona and USC, respectively, and a career-high 14 tackles against Boise State.

The Lott Trophy annual winner is selected by a national voter panel, consisting of former winners, members of the media, coaches, and members of the Board of Directors of The IMPACT Foundation. The 2022 winner will be announced at a gala black-tie event on Dec. 11 at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, California.  

Retiring Los Angeles Rams tackle Andrew Whitworth, the Walter Payton Man of the Year, was the keynote speaker at the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation luncheon on Thursday when the 42 candidates for this year's award were revealed. Brief bio information is included below for each candidate.

The 2022 Lott IMPACT® Trophy Watch List:

KRIS ABRAMS-DRAINE, DB, Missouri, Jr., 5-11, 178, Mobile, Al.: All-SEC selection as a sophomore; Defended 10 passes with 3 interceptions and had a 100-yard kickoff return for a TD; Played wide receiver as a freshman.

NICK ANDERSEN, S, Wake Forest, So., 5-11, 185, Clifton, Va.: Repeat on the Watch List; 4 interceptions in season, 3 in one game; former walk-on; All-ACC Academic honors.

WILL ANDERSON Jr., LB, Alabama, Jr.,6-4, 243, Hampton, Ga.: Nagurski winner last year; Unanimous AA; SEC Defensive POY; Cotton Bowl MVP; Led nation with 34.5 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks.

FELIX ANUDIKE-UZOMAH, DE, Kansas State, Jr., 6-4, 253, Kansas City: 3rd team Al-American; All-Big-12; Big 12 Co-Lineman of the Year; 11 sacks.

JEREMY BANKS, LB, Tennessee, Sr., 6-1, 224, Cordova, Tenn.; Among leading tacklers in the nation with 128 last year along with 11.5 tackles for losses.

JORDAN BATTLE, DB, Alabama, Jr.,6-1, 206, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.; All-American last year; 182 career tackles, 86 in 2021; Returned two interceptions for touchdowns.

KYON BARRS, DL, Arizona, Jr., 6-3, 297, Murrieta, Ca.; All-Pac-12 second team; 8 tackles for loss and team high 5 sacks.

JD BERTRAND, LB, 6-1, 230, Notre Dame, Jr., Alpharetta, Ga.: Leading tackler for Irish last season with 101; President of the Notre Dame chapter of Uplifting Athletes, a philanthropic organization that raises monies for athletes with rare diseases.

BRYAN BRESEE, DT, Clemson, Jr., 6-5, 300, Damascus, Md.: No. 1 recruit in the country in 2019; Pre-season All-American.

TROY BROWN, LB. Ole Miss, Sr., 6-1, 220, Flint, Mich.:  Transfer from Central Michigan where he was a 3-time All MAC selection, team MVP and team captain; Has 215 career tackles.

BEN BYWATER, LB, BYU, So., 6-3, 230, Salt Lake City; 2021 All-Academic honors; 102 tackles and 8.5 tackles for losses led team.

JACK CAMPBELL, LB, Iowa, Jr., 6-5, 243, Cedar Falls, Ia.; Led nation in tackles with 143 in 2021; Dean’s List; Iowa Leadership team.

ANDRE CARTER II, DE, Army, Sr. 6-7, 250, Missouri City, Texas; Pre-season and returning All-American; Had 18.5 tackles for loss last year, 15.5 sacks, 2nd in the country,  Team MVP.

JALEN CARTER, DT, Georgia, Jr. 6-3, 310, Apopka, Fl.: Compared favorably to former Apopka standout Warren Sapp; All-SEC performer with 33 quarterback hurries last season, Projected high draft choice.

LEVANI DAMUNI, LB, Stanford, Jr., 6-2, 251, Providence, Utah: Led team with 88 tackles; Has done Mormon mission; Majoring in Science, Technology and Society.

NICK FIGUEROA, DL, USC, 6-5, 275, San Bernardino: 11.5 career tackles for loss; Graduate student with 3.57 GPA; Academic All-American (2nd team); Campbell Semi-finalist.

TONY GRIMES, CB, North Carolina, Jr. 6-0, 197, Virginia Beach; All-ACC Honorable Mention; 47 tackles’ Projected first round selection.

DERICK HALL, DL, Auburn, Sr., 6-3, 256, Gulfport, Ms.; 54 tackles, 12.5 for losses, 9 sacks, High school honor student.

ZACH HARRISON, DE, Ohio State, Sr., 6-6, 272, Lewis Center, Ohio: On Watch List last year; All-Big Ten (second team); OSU Scholar Athlete; 17.5 career tackles for losses

XAVIER HENDERSON, S, Michigan State, Sr., 6-1, 210, Reynoldsburg, Oh.: Graduated in December with degree in communications; Team captain; All-Big Ten (3rd team); 33 consecutive starts; 10 tackles for loss last year.

NICK HERBIG, LB, Wisconsin, Jr., 6-2, 227, Kauai, Hawaii: Top returner on No. 1 defense in country last year; Had 64 tackles, 14.5 for losses and 9 sacks.

SHAKA HEYWARD, LB, Duke, Sr., 6-4, 220, Dacula, Georgia: On Watch List last year; 148 career tackles; majoring in evolutionary anthropology.

RONNIE HICKMAN, S, Ohio State, Jr., 6-1, 205, South Orange, NJ.: Led Buckeyes with 99 tackles last season; All-American lacrosse player in high school.

NICK JACKSON, LB, Virginia, Sr., 6-1, 236, Atlanta; Led ACC with 117 tackles, All-ACC (2nd team); Team captain.

ANTONIO JOHNSON, CB, Texas A&M, So. 6-3, 200, East St. Louis, Ill: All-SEC, 79 tackles, 8.5 tackles for losses

BRANDON JOSEPH, S, Notre Dame, Sr., 6-1, 192, College Station, Texas: Transfer from Northwestern; Consensus All-American; Had 6 interceptions as Frosh; Academic All-State in high school

CALIJAH KANCEY, DL, Pitt, Jr. 6-0, 275, Miami: 13 tackles for loss: All Conference selection; Aaron Donald (Pitt All-American) type player with physique and drive.

KEY LAWRENCE, S-CB, Oklahoma, 6-1, 208, Nashville: No. 1 recruit from state of Tennessee; All-Big 12 honorable mention; 47 tackles, 3 forced fumbles.

WILL McDONALD IV, DE, Iowa State, Jr., 6-4, 245, Pewaukee, Wi.: Made several A-American teams in 2021; Big-12 co-Defensive Lineman of the Year; 11.5 sacks school record; All-Big 12 academic honors; Same hometown as JJ Watt.

AKHEEM MESIDOR, DL, Miami, Jr., 6-2, 270, Ottawa: All-Big 12 3rd team; All-Big 12 Academic 2nd team; Big 12 Honor Roll; 70 career tackles.

RILEY MOSS, DB, Iowa, Sr., 6-1, 194, Ankeny, Ia.; Sporting News All-American; 10 career interceptions, 3 for touchdowns; Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year in 2021.

BJ OJULARI, DE, LSU, Jr., 6-3, 245, Marietta, Ga.: 11,5 tackles for losses, 55 tackles total last year; 325 high school tackles; Projected first round pick

JOEY PORTER Jr., CB, Penn State, Jr., 6-2, 196, Bakersfield; All-Big Ten 3rd team; 51 tackles, Father Joey Sr. was a 13-year NFL vet and former coach.

LUKE REIMER, LB, Nebraska, Jr., 6-1, 225, Lincoln: Led Huskers with 108 tackles; Nebraska Linebacker of the Year; Academic All-Big Ten.

KELEE RINGO, CB, Georgia, Jr., 6-2, 205, Tacoma, Wa.: All-American; Had interception for touchdown in National Championship win over Alabama.

DANIEL SCOTT, S, Cal, Sr., 6-2, 205, Pasadena: Grad student with degree in sociology and business certificate in business administration; All-Pac-12 performer; In 6th year on team.

NOAH SEWELL, LB, Oregon, So., 6-3, 256, American Samoa: 5th highest rated recruit in Oregon history; Butkus semi-finalist last year when he led team with 114 tackles; All Pac-12 first team; Freshman All-American.

TRENTON SIMPSON, LB, Clemson, Jr. 6-3, 230, Charlotte, NC: Has 18.5 career tackles for loss, 10 sacks; All-ACC performer and All-ACC Academic selection; Father US Army Sgt who served 17 overseas tours.

HENRY TO’OTO’O, LB, Alabama. Sr., 6-2, 225, Sacramento: Tennessee transfer stepped into starting role and led team in tackles with 113; All-SEC, 2nd team selection.

RASHAD TORRENCE II, CB, Florida, Jr., 6-0, 197, Atlanta: Two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll; 87 tackles last season; Projected 1st round NFL pick

ZION TUPUOLA-FETUI, DE, Washington, Jr., 6-4, 260, Pearl City, Hawaii: Missed part of last season with injury. All-Pac-12 and 2nd team All-American in 2020.

J.J. WEAVER, LB, Kentucky, Jr., 6-5, 241, Louisville: Rebounded from torn ACL in 2020 to make 3rd team All- SEC; Led Kentucky with six sacks and had 10 tackles for losses