IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa junior defensive back Cooper DeJean has been selected as one of nine semifinalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy. The announcement was made Friday by The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation.
The Lott IMPACT Trophy, now in its 20th year, goes to the student-athlete who best exemplifies the characteristics of Ronnie Lott by making an IMPACT on and off the field. IMPACT is an acronym for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.
DeJean, who is also a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, has played nearly 400 snaps in coverage this season without giving up a touchdown. He leads the Hawkeyes in pass break-ups (4), is second in interceptions (2) and sixth in tackles (41) this season. One of his two interceptions thwarted a scoring threat in the end zone against Michigan State.
On special teams, DeJean had a 70-yard game-deciding touchdown late in the fourth quarter against Michigan State. He leads the Big Ten and ranks 14th nationally with an 11.9 punt return average and he is second nationally in punt return touchdowns.
The Odebolt, Iowa, native was a midseason first-team All-America selection by the Associated Press, The Athletic, ESPN and FOX.
Off the field, DeJean has participated in several volunteer activities, including Safe Haven of Iowa County, Special Olympics Golf Outing, CommUnity Crisis Services and Food Bank, Filter of Hope (Athletes in Action), UI Dance Marathon, Day of Caring, Ladies Football Academy, Senior Citizen Bingo, Wetherby Nights: Community Building Event and Houses into Homes. He also took a mission trip to Ecuador in 2022.
Former Hawkeye linebacker Josey Jewell won the Lott IMPACT Trophy in 2017.
Finalists will be invited to attend the Lott IMPACT® Trophy award show on Dec. 10, in Newport Beach, California. The university of the winner will receive $25,000 for its general scholarship fund while the other finalists will receive $5,000 for each of their schools.
Iowa (7-2, 4-2) returns to action Saturday, hosting Rutgers at 2:40 p.m. (CT) in Kinnick Stadium. The game will be televised on BTN.