The beast that keeps opposing offensive linemen up at night, Leonard Williams, has been named as one of nine semifinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy.
Leo the Lion is trying to follow in the lead of former Trojan Devon Kennard, who was a finalist last year. But Williams hopes to surpass Kennard, who lost out to UCLA's Anthony Barr.
Leonard Williams has been nothing short of sensational this season despite battling sore shoudlers and a high ankle sprain prior to the Stanford game. Despite being a defensive lineman floating back and forth between defensive end and defensive tackle, the junior from Daytona Beach, Florida is second on the team with 54 tackles -- behind only Butkus semifinalist Hayes Pullard. He is also third with seven tackles for loss and is the Trojans' leader with 4.5 sacks.
He sees a ton of double teams and cut blocks trying to slow him down, but Williams continues to make an impact in every game. He has forced three fumbles, intercepted a pass, broke up three other and has four pass deflections. In other words, he's an absolute beast:
Nation's best defensive lineman... Semifinalist for #IAMLOMBARDI, #BednarikAward & #LottIMPACT... #KingOfTheJungle pic.twitter.com/a8UPFPTcQ2— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) November 12, 2014
Leonard Williams' best game probably came in a win on the road against then-No. 10 Arizona. He finished with eight solo tackles and two sacks. He destroyed a running back inside the 10-yard line, forcing a fumble USC recovered and also made a big stop on a late two-point conversion attempt.
The award will be presented December 14 at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation. It is named former Trojan great Ronnie Lott and stands for more than just play on the field. The IMPACT name represents Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.