The UCLA Bruins' signature win of the season, if not Rick Neuheisel's tenure to date, the 34-12 drubbing of the Texas Longhorns on Saturday, has earned the Bruins more acclaim. On the same day that two Bruins -- center Ryan Taylor and linebacker Sean Westgate -- were named Pac-10 conference players of the week, defensive stud Akeem Ayers was named the Lott IMPACT player of the week, the school announced yesterday:â†µ
He plays both linebacker and defensive end in the Bruins' defensive scheme: "Playing both end and linebacker puts me more in a position where I can make plays all over the field," he says.â†µ
The Lott IMPACT trophy, named after former USC Trojan Ronnie Lott, has been given annually since 2004 to the nation's top defensive player, in addition to the weekly honors. Per the Lott IMPACT Trophy website:â†µ
The award is unique because it represents the first trophy to give equal weight to personal character as well as athletic performance from a defensive college player and is the first national college football award based on the West Coast.â†µ
Ayers was also named to the watch list before the season for the Butkus Award, given annually to the nation's top linebacker.â†µ
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