When evaluating USC Football’s performances this season, it is safe to say that their defense has some of the best talents in all of college football. Despite having one of the best offensive schemes in the country, USC’s defense will play a significant role in competing for the national championship.
Furthermore, USC’s defensive stars are finally receiving recognition for their exceptional efforts. USC Football linebacker and former four-star recruit, Shane Lee, has been selected to be on the watch list for the Lott Impact Trophy.
This prestigious honor is awarded to the nation’s best defensive player on and off the field. Based on his performances thus far, Lee surpasses each of the requirements needed to win the award. Head Coach Lincoln Riley relies heavily on Lee to contribute in any way possible. Without his impact, USC's defense would lack a presence in the run, as well as in coverage.
During the season-opener versus Rice, Lee showcased how strong his impact can be when the foot is on the gas. Not only did Lee take an interception 40 yards to the house, but he also had a pass deflection while leading the team in tackles. This game is a prime example of why Lee deserves to be the winner of the Lott Impact Trophy.
USC Football LB, Shane Lee, is the best nominee for the Lott Impact Trophy.
After playing under Nick Saban for his first three seasons, Shane Lee transferred to the USC Football program, hoping to find a change of scenery. Due to injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee was held short of his opportunities during his time at Alabama. While entering the transfer portal may have been a risk, the long-term reward was well worth it.
USC Football’s coaching staff now considers Lee to be the leader of the defense. His quickness, football IQ, and coverage abilities separate him from the other defensive stars nominated for the Lott Impact Trophy.
So far this season, Lee has posted 31 combined tackles, one sack, one pass deflection, and one interception. If Lee continues at this rate, he will have the best season of his collegiate career. Additionally, there is a good chance that Lee will be selected in the early rounds of the NFL draft.
Not to mention, Lee also poses as a force in the run game. His instincts and ability to read the offense are one of the main reasons why USC’s defense has performed so well. Although he may only be six feet tall, Lee uses his strength and athleticism to the best of his ability.
Moreover, Lee is one of the four USC team captains. This goes to show that his leadership and impact on the defensive side of the ball stretch far beyond the general stat sheet. In regards to his performances, skill set, and potential, Lee deserves to be selected as the winner of the Lott Impact Trophy.