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Is UCLA the New “Linebacker U”? Eric Kendricks Wins Lott IMPACT Trophy

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UCLA’s senior superstar linebacker Eric Kendricks continues to rack up elite post-season awards.

Eric Kendricks continues to embarrass the Pac-12 coaches by racking up one post-season awards after another. The Bruin legend won the Butkus award last week. Today he followed it up by carving his name into the Lott IMPACT Trophy. The official press release:

UCLA senior linebacker Eric Kendricks was named the winner of the 11th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy Sunday night at the annual awards banquet. Kendricks became the second UCLA player to win the award. Former teammate and NFL first round pick Anthony Barr won the trophy last year.

The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation will present a check in the amount of $25,000 to the general scholarship fund at UCLA in honor of Kendricks' achievement.

The other finalists were Landon Collins of Alabama, David Helton of Duke and Hau'oli Kikaha of Washington. Each of their schools will receive a check in the amount of $5,000 for their general scholarship funds.

The nominees were judged on both their performance on the field and their character off the field. IMPACT stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

Kendricks, the Butkus Award winner, CBSSports.com, Walter Camp and USA Today All-American, currently leads the nation in solo tackles average per game (8.0) and is sixth in the country in total tackles per game average (11.6). He has led or tied for the team high in tackles in each game this season.

Maybe Larry Scott will issue some kind of public statement on how the conference blew it by not selecting the best linebacker in the country in the first team this year? We will not hold our breath.

Let's also give some credit to Jeff Ulbrich, who may not be the answer as Bruins' defensive coordinator. But he certainly appears to have done a great job in developing the outstanding talent he inherited thanks to the recruiting efforts of the previous coaching regime.

So good on Ulbrich for developing student-athletes such as Kendricks and Barr and good on Coach Rick Neuheisel for recruiting them to Westwood.

Now if Ulbrich and the current LB coach can do similar job with the talent they recruited into to Westwood such as guys like Kenny Young and Zack Whitley, UCLA will make a legit claim to the title - "Linebacker U."

Go Bruins!