SAN JOSE -- San Jose State defensive end Travis Johnson was named a semifinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy.

The award goes to the defensive player who has the biggest impact on his team on and off the field and is named after 49ers great Ronnie Lott. IMPACT stands for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

Johnson is the active career leader in the nation with 30.0 sacks, which also matches the Western Athletic Conference and San Jose State career records. He's a four-time academic all-conference selection.

"I can't say enough about what a phenomenal young man he is," SJSU coach Mike MacIntyre said. "He's the heart and soul of our defense." Johnson is one of eight semifinalists and the only player from a non-Bowl Championship Series conference.

The other semifinalists are Stanford's Chase Thomas, Notre Dame's Manti Te'o, Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks, Kansas State's Arthur Brown, Georgia's Jarvis Jones, LSU's Eric Reid and Ohio State's John Simon.