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Great LSU Linebacker Named to National Award Watch List

Great LSU linebacker; Oct 21, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; Army Black Knights running back Kanye Udoh (26) is hit by LSU Tigers linebacker Harold Perkins Jr. (4) on a run during the first half at Tiger Stadium.
© Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

A talented linebacker with a knack for separating the football from opposing players, and who wears the purple and gold of LSU like a badge of honor, has been named to the watch list for the only national award that focuses equally on personal character and athletic performance. The award is the 2024 Lott IMPACT Trophy and that player is Harold Perkins Jr.

Unique Collegiate Award

The Lott IMPACT Trophy is awarded to the best defensive player in the country who has the greatest impact on his team, both on and off the field. The award is named after Ronnie Lott, a two-time All-American at USC and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Ronnie Lott — USC Trojans
© Long Photography-USA TODAY Sports

The unique essence of the award is explained on the award's official website:

The IMPACT award is awarded annually to individuals who demonstrate excellence in the field of athletics and recognizes college football’s Defensive Player of the Year who best exemplifies the IMPACT acronym: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

Past winners of the prestigious award include David Pollack, DeMeco Ryans, JJ Watt, Luke Kuechly and Aidan Hutchison.

Perkins: Great LSU Linebacker

Perkins' backstory is intriguing. He was born in New Orleans shortly before Hurricane Katrina. When he was just an infant, his family was compelled to relocate to Texas growing up in the Houston area. He originally committed to Texas A&M, but decommitted and ultimately signed with LSU, joining dozens of other Tigers who were displaced by Katrina.

Perkins is the third LSU player to be named to the Lott Trophy watchlist since the award’s inception in 2004, along with 2007 winner Glenn Dorsey, and 2010 finalist Patrick Peterson. Perkins is yet another great LSU linebacker to roam sideline to sideline in Death Valley and will be counted on heavily to lead the Tigers’ defense on the field in 2024.

Great LSU Linebacker — Harold Perkins, Jr.
© Jake Crandall/Advertiser/USA TODAY NETWORK

Perkins enters his junior season with 27 games of college experience. Since he first set foot on the field in Tiger Stadium in 2022, he has not disappointed. As a true freshman, Perkins was No. 3 on the team in tackles with 72 stops. In addition, Perkins led the team in both tackles for loss (13) and sacks (7.5). He also forced 4 fumbles and snagged an interception on his way to All-Southeastern Conference, first-team All-SEC and Freshman All-American honors.

In 2023, Perkins continued with his high-level productivity. In his sophomore season, Perkins racked up 75 tackles, recorded 1 interception, 13 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 5 pass breakups, 7 QB pressures and 3 forced fumbles. For his outstanding performance, Perkins earned second-team All-SEC honors, and his tackles for loss and sack totals led the Tigers.

Over the past two seasons, Perkins has 147 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 13 sacks, 21 quarterback pressures, 7 forced fumbles and 2 interceptions to his credit.

Perkins will have an early opportunity to shine on a big stage when LSU opens the 2024 season in Las Vegas against the USC Trojans.

The winner of the 2024 Lott IMPACT Trophy will be announced on Dec. 8 at the Pacific Club in New Port Beach, Calif.





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