UK Football’s Deone Walker Named to Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List

Courtesy UK Athletics

Deone Walker, a rising junior defensive lineman from the University of Kentucky, has been named to the prestigious Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List. Walker is one of 42 student-athletes and one of 13 defensive linemen selected for this honor.

The Lott IMPACT Trophy, named after NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, is the only major college football award that considers character alongside athletic performance. The trophy is awarded annually to the Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year, recognizing a player who exemplifies Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community, and Tenacity—traits Lott was known for during his illustrious career.

Walker, standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing 348 pounds, hails from Detroit, Michigan. He garnered All-American honors from the College Football Network and Phil Steele after an outstanding sophomore season in 2023. Walker was also named to the All-Southeastern Conference First Team and All-SEC Defensive Second Team. He led the Wildcats with 12.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 quarterback sacks, and 8 quarterback hurries. Additionally, he recorded two pass breakups, including a pivotal one in Kentucky’s win over Florida on Sept. 30, which led to a crucial touchdown.

As one of seven permanent team captains last season, Walker played and started in all 13 games, extending his streak to 24 consecutive starts, dating back to his freshman year in 2022. In 2023, he was also on the watch lists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, and Outland Trophy. Walker set or tied career highs in every statistical category last season, including nine tackles at South Carolina, 4.0 tackles for loss at Missouri, 1.0 sacks at South Carolina, one pass breakup at Georgia, and two quarterback hurries against EKU.

The winner of the Lott IMPACT Trophy will be selected by a national voter panel, which includes former winners, media members, coaches, and the Board of Directors of The IMPACT Foundation. The announcement will be made at a gala, black-tie event at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, CA, on Dec. 8.

Walker’s inclusion on the Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List is a testament to his excellence on and off the field, reflecting his significant impact on the University of Kentucky football program.

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