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Morris Named Lott Semifinalist

University of Iowa senior linebacker James Morris is one of nine semifinalists for the 2013 Lott IMPACT Trophy.  The announcement was made Wednesday by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation, sponsors of the annual award.

IMPACT is an acronym for integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity.  The institution of the Lott IMPACT Trophy Award will receive $25,000 for its general scholarship fund, while the institutions of the four runnerups will receive $5,000.

Five finalists will be announced Nov. 25, with all five players being invited to attend the 10th annual Lott IMPACT Trophy Banquet, Sunday, Dec. 8 at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Calif.  Morris is the first Hawkeye to be named a semifinalist for the award.  Iowa linebackers Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge were both quarterfinalists in 2005.

Morris (6-foot-3, 230) is a senior from Solon, Iowa.  He has been named a 2013 National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete and has been named to the CoSIDA/Capital One District VI Academic All-America team for a second straight year.  As a political science major, Morris has twice earned academic all-Big Ten honors.  He was presented the Third House Scholar Award by The University of Iowa political science department last spring.

Morris has been in Iowa’s starting line-up since early in his freshman season.  Morris has totaled 374 career tackles to rank seventh on Iowa’s career chart.  Morris was named Big Ten defensive Player of the Week for his play in Iowa’s win at Minnesota and the overtime win over Northwestern in Kinnick Stadium.  He had 13 tackles in Iowa’s contest at Ohio State.  Through 10 games, he ranks second on the team with 81 tackles.  He leads the team in sacks (5-22) and shares the team lead in tackles for loss (10-34) and interceptions (3).

The semifinal list includes six linebackers, two defensive linemen and one defensive back.  Morris is one of three Big Ten Conference players among the semifinalists.

Along with the National Voter Panel, college football fans can now influence The Lott IMPACT Trophy winner by voting online. Go online at http://www.lottimpacttrophy.org/vote or http://www.facebook.com/lotttrophy to cast your vote. The voting deadline is Nov. 22.

Iowa (6-4, 3-3) is idle this weekend.  The Hawkeyes host Michigan Nov. 23 (TBA) in Kinnick Stadium in their final home game and travel to Nebraska (11 a.m., ABC) Friday, Nov. 29.  The Hawkeyes are bowl eligible for the 12th time in 13 seasons.

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