May 16, 2013
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - Baylor senior safety Ahmad Dixon and junior linebacker Bryce Hager were named to the 2013 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation announced on Thursday.
In total, 42 student-athletes from 37 different colleges made the award's initial watch list. Dixon is one of 14 defensive backs on the list, while Hager is one of 20 linebackers.
Named after Pro Football Hall of Fame member Ronnie Lott, The Lott IMPACT Trophy is awarded to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. The award works to recognize players for their contributions on and off the field with IMPACT standing for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Baylor is the only school in the Big 12 with two have two representatives on the list and one of just six schools nationally, joining Northwestern, Ohio State, Stanford, UCLA and Virginia Tech.
Dixon is a two-time All-Big 12 honoree, who moved back to the safety position this spring. He has played in 37 career games in three years at BU, while starting 26 of those. His 207 career tackles are a team-high entering his final season. Last season, he started every game for the Holiday Bowl champion Bears at the nickelback/"Bear" position. He earned All-Big 12 honorable mention honors from the league's coaches and the Associated Press, while ranking seventh in the league with 7.8 tackles-per-game. The product of Midway High School in Hewitt, Texas, also received All-Big 12 honors as a sophomore by starting all 13 games and recording 89 total tackles.
Hager led the Big 12 in tackles (9.5 per game) in 2012, while helping BU to its third straight bowl game. He has 26 career games played and 10 starts. From his middle linebacker position, he serves as the quarterback of the defense. For his play last season, the Austin, Texas, native was named All-Big 12 first team by Scout/FoxSports and second team by the league's coaches, AP, Phil Steele and Waco Tribune-Herald. On the year, Hager finished second on the team in sacks (four), tackles for loss (9.5) and hurries (eight).
Both players were part of a Baylor defense that over the final five games of the regular season averaged 2.6 takeaways per contest. Then in a 49-26 victory over 17th-ranked UCLA in the Holiday Bowl, the BU defense allowed just 33 yards rushing on 28 attempts, while holding the Bruins' offense to 1-of-17 on third downs.
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 winner will be recognized at the 10th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy Black-Tie Awards Banquet will be Dec. 8 at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach.
For more information on The Lott Trophy visit: www.LottImpactTrophy.com.
For updates and an inside look at the team follow the official Twitter account of Baylor Football: @BUFootball