Two MW Student-Athletes Named to 2013 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List
May 17, 2013
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Two Mountain West student-athletes were among the 42 football players named to the 2013 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List on Thursday.
Fresno State junior defensive back Derron Smith and San Diego State senior defensive back Nat Berhe both received the recognition.
Named after Pro Football Hall of Famer, Ronnie Lott, the Lott IMPACT Trophy is awarded to college football's defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. The watch list represents players who have made the biggest IMPACT on their teams both on and off the field. IMPACT stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Smith is coming off a 2012 campaign where he received first-team All-MW accolades after tying for fifth in the FBS with six interceptions. He recorded 127 yards off his six picks with one touchdown and tied for sixth nationally in interception return yardage.
A 5-foot-11, 194-pounder out of Banning, Calif., Smith was second on the team with 79 tackles last year. He helped lead the Bulldog secondary that ranked No. 2 in the country in pass defense by allowing only 167.15 passing yards per game. Fresno State also ranked No. 3 in the FBS in team interceptions (22), No. 4 in pass efficiency defense (100.75) and No. 5 in both opponent completion percentage (.514) and total turnovers gained (35) with Smith starting every game last season.
Berhe, who earned second-team All-MW honors last season, recorded a team-high 94 tackles in 2012, with two interceptions, one forced fumble and five pass breakups.
A native of Colton, Calif., Berhe was one of four players to start all 13 games for SDSU last season and helped guide the Aztecs to league's top rushing defense. The team also ranked third in the conference in total defense and scoring defense. Berhe recorded 12 or more tackles three times last season, including a career-high 15 stops in San Diego State's victory at Nevada. His 13 solo tackles against the Wolf Pack were the ninth-highest total in the country during the 2012 regular season.
Voting for the award is held throughout the season by a National Voter Panel of former college coaches and players, select members of the media, past winners of the award and the Board of Directors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, the sponsors of the award.
The 10th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy Black-Tie Awards Banquet will be Dec. 8 at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Calif.