With the 2021 College Football season getting closer, the anticipation for some of the best players in the nation is starting to get more recognition. The watchlist for postseason awards is unveiling slowly. Virginia Tech Hokies nickelback/safety Chamarri Conner is named to the watchlist for the Lott Trophy.
The defensive player who shows excellence both on and off the field is given the Lott Trophy. The Lott Trophy defines IMPACT as Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community, and Tenacity. Conner is one of 41 players to be named on the watchlist. Past winners of the Lott Trophy include former Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt in 2010, former Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly in 2011, former Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen in 2018, former Auburn Tigers defensive tackle Derrick Brown in 2019. The current recipient is former Northwestern linebacker Paddy Fisher.
Conner has been a strong presence within the community at Virginia Tech and in the locker room. This season, Conner has given the #1 jersey. The number is given to the player who gives one of the strongest and embracing presence for the Hokies. Head coach Justin Fuente is the one who gave Conner the jersey number.
For the past two seasons, Conner had been one of the most consistent and dominant defensive players on the field for the Hokies. Conner has accumulated 149 total tackles, 105 solo tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, three interceptions, 12 pass deflections, and two forced fumbles. He led the team in total tackles accounted for (81) and solo tackles accounted for (60) last season.
Conner is one of the most experienced Hokies who has been through tenacity and changes along with the defense in the past three seasons. He will be the leader of a defensive unit ranked 82nd in the nation in points allowed per game (32.1) and 93rd in total yards allowed per game (425.4) last season. The Hokies had one of the worst defenses within recent history. Conner and the rest of the defensive teammates will expect more significant improvement under second-year defensive coordinator Justin Hamilton.
Hokie Nation expects Conner to be one of the most successful defensive leaders on and off the field this 2021 College Football season. He has shown why he deserves to be one of the 41 players mentioned for the Lott Award within the past two seasons. If Conner continues the same results on the field in 2021 for the Hokies, then he will continue to be an easy consideration for the award as the season continues.