Search begins for nation’s best linebackers
CHICAGO, IL / ACCESSWIRE / July 22, 2019 / The Butkus Award® honoring the nation’s best linebackers kicked off its 35th annual selection process today by announcing its collegiate and high school preseason watch lists.
Each watch list contains 51 linebackers, mirroring the legendary “51” pro jersey associated with the Award’s namesake Dick Butkus, who was recognized by NFL Films as the best defensive player in football history.
The Collegiate Butkus Award watch list includes candidates from 39 universities, including returning finalist Dylan Moses of Alabama who won the 2016 high school Butkus Award, and returning semifinalist Markus Bailey of Purdue.
The High School Butkus Award watch list includes candidates from 47 secondary schools across 22 states, with Georgia schools fielding the most candidates (6).
The 2018 Butkus Award winners:
- Professional: Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears
- Collegiate: Devin White, LSU (now Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
- High School: Nakobe Dean, Horn Lake, Miss. (now Georgia)
Formed in 1985, the Butkus Award was expanded in 2008 to honor linebackers at three levels while supporting causes important to the Butkus family. They include the I Play Clean® initiative promoting training and nutrition instead of performance-enhancing drugs, and the Butkus Takes Heart™ initiative encouraging early cardiovascular screening among adults.
View source version on accesswire.com: