Ohio State junior defensive lineman John Simon was named one of 20 quarterfinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy.
The trophy, named after former University of Southern California safety Ronnie Lott, “recognizes college football’s Defensive Player of the Year who best exemplifies integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity,” according to the award’s website.
Simon has been a force for the Buckeyes this year, recording 26 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks for the season. He also has three pass breakups and three passes defended.
He recorded 8.0 tackles and 4.0 tackles for loss during OSU’s 17-7 victory over Illinois on Oct. 15. The performance earned him Lott IMPACT player of the week honors in addition to being named College Football Performance Award’s national defensive lineman of the week.
Nebraska’s Lavonte David, Wisconsin’s Aaron Henry, Purdue’s Joe Holland, Michigan’s Jordan Kovacs, and Michigan State’s Jerel Worthy join Simon on the list as members from the Big Ten.
The Big Ten leads all conferences with six players on the list. The SEC was second with four.
Simon and the Buckeyes take on Wisconsin Saturday. In 2010, Simon had six tackles against the Badgers, but despite his performance, Wisconsin handed the Buckeyes their only loss of the season, 31-18.
Freshman Braxton Miller will start at quarterback for the Buckeyes, but if Miller has to leave the game for any reason, sophomore Kenny Guiton will be the man to replace him according to OSU offensive coordinator Jim Bollman. Although previously implied, Bollman confirmed Wednesday that Guiton has officially passed senior Joe Bauserman as the team’s No. 2 option at quarterback.
Kickoff for Saturday’s game against the Badgers is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.