USC safety Talanoa Hufanga has been named to the 2020 Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list. He is one of 42 college football players nominated for the award, given to college football’s Defensive IMPACT–Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity–Player of the Year.
Named after Pro Football Hall of Fame member and former USC legend Ronnie Lott, the IMPACT Trophy takes into account both on-field success and personal character attributes of the player.
As a starting safety for the USC defense, Hufanga will be counted on as a leader this season, and a potential candidate for team captain. He was named Second Team All-Pac 12 in 2019 and has 141 career tackles.
Off the field, Hufanga was selected as one of two student-athlete representatives to assist the USC search committee in the process of naming a new athletic director.
Including Hufanga, there are eight Pac-12 representatives on the list, including Stanford’s Paulson Adebo, Cal’s Kuony Deng, UCLA’s Quinten Lake, Colorado’s Nate Landman, Washington’s Levi Onwuzurike, Oregon State’s Hamilcar Rashed Jr. and Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux.
USC has never had a Lott IMPACT Trophy recipient, while UCLA players won back-to-back awards with Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks in 2013 and 2014. USC defensive end Christian Rector was named to the watch list last year, while Auburn’s Derrick Brown was the eventual recipient.