It's beginning. We're starting to see the telltale signs of the annual transition from offseason to preseason. What's the difference? In the offseason you're primarily focused with the fact that there's no college football.
In the preseason, however, you're actively preparing for college football's return. The countdowns begin, X Days Until College Football! The preview magazines arrive. (I went to the store over the weekend and saw three.) The watch lists are released.
Nebraska linebacker Mohamed Barry showed up on one of the first such lists released. The senior was one of the defenders listed for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. Named for Ronnie Lott, the initial list includes 42 names. (Clever.)
Here's the official description of who the Lott Trophy goes to each year:
The Lott IMPACT Trophy is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Founded in 2004 by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, The Lott Trophy is the first and only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. The Lott Trophy is given to the player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Barry checks a lot of those boxes. He's been a member of the Brook Berringer and Tom Osborne Citizenship Teams the last four years. He earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The 2018 season was Barry's best on the field. He was a third-team All-Big Ten selection by the media and an honorable-mention pick by the coaches in addition to being named Nebraska's defensive MVP after recording 112 tackles. Barry is the leading returning tackler in the Big Ten.
It's not easy standing out at linebacker in the Big Ten––four others from the conference are on the Lott list––but it's safe to say that this won't be the last watch list to include Barry . . . now that we're in the preseason.
The Grab Bag
- Derek Peterson offers some summer football updates.
- Tony Tuioti offers a description of what the Huskers are looking for in leaders on the recruiting trail.
- Jacob Padilla is taking a close look at Nebraska basketball’s newcomers. First up Shamiel Stevenson. (Premium)
- AD Bill Moos was impressed by Nebraska baseball’s strong close to the season. The Huskers get started in the Big Ten Tournament at 9 p.m. on Wednesday in Omaha.
Today’s Song of Today
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.