Three Ohio State football players make Lott Impact watch list

We’re not quite in the middle of college football watch list season, but we’ll start to get some of them trickle out as we get deeper into summer. The first of those came on Thursday with the release of the 2024 Lott Impact watch list, and Ohio State is the only team with three players appearing on it.

The Lott trophy has been around since 2004 and goes to the defensive player who makes the biggest impact for the team both on and off the field based on the acronym IMPACT (Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity).

For the Buckeyes, the trio appearing among the 42 names are senior cornerback Denzel Burke, sophomore safety Caleb Downs, and senior defensive end JT Tuimoloau.

Burke had a bounce back year last season after a sophomore season in which he didn’t quite live up to what we saw during his freshman campaign. He’ll be on the shortlist of the best corners, not only in the Big Ten, but in the country.

As a freshman, Downs was one of the best defensive backs in the country at Alabama and made the difficult decision to transfer to Ohio State when Nick Saban retired. He should be a significant difference maker for OSU this fall.

Tuimoloau surprised many by coming back for his senior season. He was one of the most coveted prospects in the country when he committed to Ohio State back in 2021. He has dominated games at times and will be a part of one of the best defensive end tandems in the country, opposite fellow edge rusher Jack Sawyer.

Former linebacker and current assistant coach James Laurinaitis is the only Ohio State player to have won the Lott Trophy. He did it back in that ridiculous 2008 campaign.

We’ll continue to bring you that multitude of OSU players sure to be on preseason watch lists as things get closer and closer to the start of the 2024 season.

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Story originally appeared on Buckeye Wire