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Syracuse’s Zaire Franklin named to Lott IMPACT Trophy watch list

Elite company for the senior linebacker and defensive captain.

NCAA Football: ACC Football Kickoff Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation released its initial watch list for the 2017 Lott IMPACT Trophy last Friday-- a list which included senior Syracuse Orange middle linebacker Zaire Franklin.

Since 2004, the trophy — named for hall-of-famer Ronnie Lott -- has recognized the nation’s top IMPACT defensive player both on and off the field.

Last year, Franklin had arguably his best season to-date as a member of the Orange. The two-time defensive captain recorded 101 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss (two sacks), an interception and a forced fumble.

Off the field, he’s part of the Syracuse University chapter of Uplifting Athletes, and is also a member of Syracuse’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

The Pacific Club announces the winner at a banquet in Newport Beach, Calif. on December 10. While no Syracuse player has ever won the award, he’s not the first to make the watch list. Linebacker Cameron Lynch was named to the list in 2014, Others may have been named to the earlier lists as well.

Congratulations on the honor, Zaire. Hope to see you in Newport Beach come December.