McCartney, a senior outside linebacker, was one of 42 players named to the watch list, and one of 17 linebackers.
The trophy is named for Pro Football Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, and it is awarded to college football's impact player on defense. It recognizes athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the players.
IMPACT is stands for the characteristics Lott embodied during his career: integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity.
McCartney has 9.5 sacks in 27 career games (25 starts) and has been named a captain for the Buffs for the 2017 season.
He was named to the 2016 AFCA Good Works Team, one of just 12 Division I players honored. He graduated from CU in May of 2016 after just three years with a degree in integrative physiology. He's currently a graduate student at CU with plans to attend medical school.