Ordinarily this wouldn't necessarily be news, but we felt obligated to touch on Ryan Shazier's Lott IMPACT worthiness after he was slighted by the Lott IMPACT Award as a 2013 finalist. UCLA's Anthony Barr, Wisconsin's Chris Borland, USC's DE/LB Devon Kennard, and Iowa's James Morris were named to the four finalist spots. Notre Dame's Manti Te'o won the award a season ago.
The award makes it name (beyond that of the great Ronnie Lott) on the fact that it weighs off the field character as much as on the field. Given Shazier's background and general way of carrying himself, it'd be difficult to understand if that somehow disqualified him from further consideration.
Shazier had been the award's national player of the week two of the past four weeks and after his 20 tackle performance against Indiana, would've been just as justifiable in receiving the honor again. Of the 12 players of the week throughout the college football season, only Shazier was the only two time honoree.
We'll admit in full disclosure that despite Morris' great play, his season body of work caught us a bit off guard. Borland is a regular on the shortlists for best defensive player/linebacker around the country and Barr and Kennard have had their fair share of buzz, too. But when you stack the four finalists up along with Shazier, it's tough to understand why he isn't on that shortlist.
Here's how Shazier and the four actual finalists measure up:
|Ryan Shazier (Ohio State)
|Anthony Barr (UCLA)
|Chris Borland (Wisconsin)
|Devon Kennard (USC)
|James Morris (Iowa)
|All stats from CFBStats.com
Again, to take nothing away from the four finalists, it's just puzzling why Shazier isn't one of them is all.