2012 Butkus Award Watch List Announced

Updated: July 16, 2012

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:

  • Professional: Tie.  DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys, and Terrell Suggs, Baltimore Ravens.
  • Collegiate: Luke Kuechly, Boston College, the NFL’s ninth overall draft pick by the Carolina Panthers.
  • High School:  Noor Davis, Leesburg High School, Fla., now at Stanford University.

The Butkus Award was expanded in 2008 to honor linebackers at three levels while helping spread the word about Butkus’ I Play Clean™ initiative which encourages teens to eat well, train hard, and play with attitude instead of resorting to steroids and related drugs.  More information is available at www.iplayclean.org or at www.facebook.com/i.play.clean.

The Butkus Award, www.thebutkusaward.com or www.facebook.com/51.butkus, is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization. It is part of the National College Football Awards Association, a coalition of the major collegiate awards. More information is available at www.NCFAA.org.

The 2012 List:

Brandon Magee Arizona State University
Uona Kaveinga Brigham Young University
Christian Jones Florida State University
Nick Moody Florida State University
Keith Pough Howard University
A.J. Klein Iowa State University
Jake Knott Iowa State University
Arthur Brown Kansas State University
Kevin Minter Louisiana State University
Denicos Allen Michigan State University
Max Bullough Michigan State University
Cameron Lawrence Mississippi State University
David Nwabuisi Northwestern University
Etienne Sabino Ohio State
Gerald Hodges Penn State University
Michael Mauti Penn State University
Steve Beauharnais Rutgers University
Khaseem Greene Rutgers University
Ja’Gared Davis Southern Methodist University
Trent Murphy Stanford University
Shane Skov Stanford University
Chase Thomas Stanford University
Damontre Moore Texas A&M University
Sean Porter Texas A&M University
Nico Johnson University of Alabama
C.J. Mosley University of Alabama
Alonzo Highsmith University of Arkansas
Douglas Rippy University of Colordao
Sio Moore University of Connecticut
Jonathan Bostic University of Florida
Jelani Jenkins University of Florida
John Lotulelei University of Florida
Lerentee McCray University of Florida
Jarvis Jones University of Georgia
Cornelius Washington University of Georgia
Jonathan Brown University of Illinois
James Morris University of Iowa
Kenny Tate University of Maryland
Zaviar Gooden University of Missouri
Jeremiah Greene University of Nevada
Kevin Reddick University of North Carolina
Manti Te’o University of Notre Dame
Tom Wort University of Oklahoma
DeVonte Holloman University of South Carolina
Dion Bailey University of Southern Calif.
Jamie Collins University of Southern Mississippi
A.J. Johnson University of Tennessee
Andrew Jackson University of Western Kentucky
Chris Borland University of Wisconsin
Bruce Taylor Virginia Tech University
Travis Long Washington State University