Williams is a 6-2, 225-pound senior from Moorefield, West Virginia. He led the Mountaineers in tackles last season with 107 and was named the Defensive Player of the Tostitos Bowl when he had a forced fumble, a sack and two tackles for losses in WVU's victory over Oklahoma. The valedictorian of his high school class, Williams is an Academic All-American with a 3.86 grade point average in accounting.
There are seven repeat nominees for the award, including James Laurinaitis of Ohio State, a finalist last year. The other players nominated for a second straight year are Jonathan Casillas of Wisconsin, Maurice Crum, Jr. of Notre Dame, Brian Cushing of USC, Zack Follett of Cal, Nic Harris of Oklahoma and Darryl Richard of Georgia Tech.
Thirty-five different schools are represented on the Watch List. Williams is one of five Big East players on the list. The others are safety Courtney Greene of Rutgers, linebacker Tyrone McKenzie and defensive end George Selvie of South Florida, and linebacker Scot McKillop of Pitt
Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, The Lott Trophy is awarded to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Now in its fourth year, The Lott Trophy is the first college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.
Sponsored by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, the award is given to a player who exhibits the same characteristics Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
Voters for the award include selected members of the national media, previous finalists, the Board of Directors of the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, The IMPACT Foundation Board of Advisers comprised of many retired NFL players and Master Coaches, a distinguished group of former head college coaches.
The winner will be announced at a gala black-tie banquet at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Ca. on December 14th, 2008.