Penn State safety Marcus Allen and linebacker Jason Cabinda have both been named to the Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List, the university announced Monday afternoon.
The Big Ten has won the last two Lott Trophies, which honor the nation’s top defensive player who makes the biggest impact on his team, with Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers the recipient in 2016 and the Nittany Lions’ Carl Nassib the 2015 winner.
Allen and Cabinda — both seniors — are poised for memorable seasons. Allen could’ve declared early for the NFL draft but, instead, he opted to stay one final year after garnering third-team All-Big Ten honors. Cabinda returns after missing five games last season and earning a spot on the Lott watch list last preseason too.
Allen racked up 22 tackles against Minnesota last season and blocked the field goal against No. 2 Ohio State. Cabinda posted 100 stops his sophomore season but, due to injury, finished with 81 last year.
The Lott Trophy was first given out in 2004. The Big Ten has won the award four times, all of which came in the last nine seasons with James Laurinaitis (2008, Ohio State) and J.J. Watt (2010, Wisconsin) in addition to Peppers and Nassib.