Ohio State linebacker Tommy Eichenberg was named on Tuesday afternoon as one of four finalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is given annually to a defensive player whose athletic excellence is equally recognized by his personal character.
Eichenberg, a redshirt junior from Cleveland St. Ignatius, has recorded 105 tackles this season, including 67 solo stops, which ranks second nationally. He’s also added 12 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and one interception, which he returned for a touchdown, despite having two broken hands.
“Tommy’s as tough as they come, as tough as any player I’ve been around," defensive coordinator Jim Knowles said. "He kind of epitomizes what we want to be as a defense and as a program because nothing is going to stop him, no matter what the circumstances. He's going to show up"
Other semifinalists for the award include Alabama’s Will Anderson, Kansas State’s Felix Anudike-Uzomah and USC Tuli Tuipulotu. The winner will receive $25,000 for the school's general scholarship fund, while the other finalists receive $5,000 for their school.
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Eichenberg is looking to become the second Buckeye to win the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is named after college and pro football Hall of Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott, joining former linebacker James Laurinaitis in 2008.
It is awarded to individuals who demonstrated excellence on the field and exemplify the IMACT acronym – which stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity – off the field.
This year’s winner will be announced during an awards ceremony at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Calif., on Dec. 11. Eichenberg is Ohio State's first finalist since former safety Jordan Fuller in 2019.
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