Congrats to Cal defender Cameron Saffle, who was named to a 42-person watchlist of the best defenders in college football for the Lott IMPACT Trophy!
The Lott IMPACT Trophy is awarded to the best defensive player in the nation. It is also an award that has its origins on the West Coast (thanks Ronnie Lott!), so you do see a few Pac-12 victors of the award you wouldn’t usually see. Most notably in California Golden Bears lore, Daymeion Hughes captured the award in 2006.
After seeing backup time as a true freshman, Saffle broke out in 2016 as a sophomore. Saffle logged 57 tackles (fifth on the team), 8.5 tackles for loss (first), four sacks (first), and four passes broken up (tied for second). Saffle has already drawn rave reviews from Justin Wilcox in spring practice, so you can expect him to take another bigger leap with a defensively oriented coach.
Saffle expects to slot into an outside linebacker type role this year. Expect more havoc from Cal’s best defender in 2016.