CHICAGO – (July 16, 2012) – The 28th annual Butkus Award® selection process to honor the nation’s best linebackers begins today with announcement of the collegiate and high school pre-season watch list.
Each watch list contains 51 candidates, honoring the now-retired professional jersey number of Dick Butkus, who is regarded by NFL Films as the best defensive player in football history. The selection panel is comprised of 51 coaches, evaluators and journalists, coordinated by Pro Football Weekly.
The Collegiate Butkus Award watch list includes 51 candidates from 38 universities. Manti Te’o of Notre Dame is the only returning finalist, after having won the inaugural High School Butkus Award in 2008. Jarvis Jones of Georgia is a returning semi-finalist.
The High School Butkus Award watch list includes 51 candidates from 50 high schools across 22 states. Florida (8), Ohio (5) and Texas (5) have the most prep players on the watch list.
Candidates in addition to those appearing on the watch list may be considered for the Award.
Semi-finalists will be named October 22, finalists November 20, and winners will be notified on or before December 4. The Professional Butkus Award winner will be announced in January 2013. Winners will be featured in a television special a week before the Super Bowl.
2011 Butkus Award winners: Read More…