UNC Football: Kaimon Rucker named to Lott Trophy Watch List

The UNC football standout has been a force on the defensive side of the football, especially over the last two seasons.
Campbell v North Carolina
Campbell v North Carolina / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

Kaimon Rucker has developed into a star on the defensive side of the football for the UNC football program, as he's earning some national recognition heading into his final collegiate season.

This week, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation announced the 42 candidates for the 2024 Lott IMPACT Trophy. Named after NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, the Lott IMPACT Trophy is the only major college football award that considers character. The award is presented annually to the Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year, a player who has had the biggest impact on his team both on and off the field. 

The emphasis on IMPACT must be noted, as each letter represents a characteristic the award embodies, as they are all characteristics that Lott showcased during his hall of fame career.

I- Integrity
M- Maturity
C- Community
T- Tenacity

Kaimon Rucker, DE, North Carolina. 6-2, 265. All-ACC pick after leading the Tar Heels (and 4th in the ACC) with 15 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks. 41 QB pressures, per Pro Football Focus, were 7th most in nation.

When you think about those characteristics, it's hard not to think about Rucker, who has been a tremendous leader both on and off the field for the UNC football program. He strives both on the field and in the classroom, as he's also been very much involved in the Chapel Hill community.

Sure, Rucker is an absolute force on the field, as he makes life difficult for opposing offensive lineman who are trying to stop him from getting to their quarterback. However, being on this list represents much more, as its a combination of all the positive things that a respective player does. Rucker is well-deserving of his spot on the list, as he has all the qualities to be considered among the favorites for this award when the winner is announced on December 8.