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All-Time Dick Butkus Award Winners

2011 Dick Butkus Award Watch List

July 14, 2011

CHICAGO – (July 14, 2011) – The 27th annual collegiate Butkus Award selection process to identify the best linebackers in the country begins today with the announcement of the preseason watch list.

The 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 Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly.

The Collegiate Butkus Award watch list includes 51 candidates from 40 universities across 10 conferences. Luke Kuechly of Boston College is the only returning finalist. Returning semi-finalists include; Dont’a Hightower of Alabama, Sean Spence of Miami (Fla.), Travis Lewis of Oklahoma, Keenan Robinson of Texas, and Manti Te’o of Notre Dame.

Last season’s Butkus Award winner was Von Miller of Texas A&M who was later selected as the No. 2 overall NFL draft pick.

The Butkus Award is part of the National College Football Awards Association, a coalition of the major collegiate awards. More information is available at

For more information, visit the Dick Butkus Award official website.


Emmanuel Acho, Texas
Ryan Baker, LSU
Chris Borland, Wisconsin
Jon Bostic, Florida
Nigel Bradham, Florida State
Tanner Brock, TCU
Arthur Brown, Kansas State
Zach Brown, North Carolina
Ramon Buchanan, Miami (Fla.)
Marvin Burdette, UAB
Vontaze Burflict, Arizona State
Miles Burris, San Diego State
Tank Carder, TCU
Audie Cole, N.C. State
Jamie Collins, Southern Miss
Lavonte David, Nebraska
Darius Fleming, Notre Dame
Jerry Franklin, Arkansas
Chris Galippo, USC
Zaviar Gooden, Missouri
Max Gruder, Pittsburgh
Dont'a Hightower, Alabama
Jelani Jenkins, Florida
James-Michael Johnson, Nevada
Nico Johnson, Alabama
Josh Kaddu, Oregon
Mychal Kendricks, California
Jake Knott, Iowa State
Luke Kuechly, Boston College
Travis Lewis, Oklahoma
Chris Marve, Vanderbilt
Michael Mauti, Penn State
Carmen Messina, New Mexico
Tyler Nielsen, Iowa
Corey Paredes, Hawaii
Kevin Reddick, North Carolina
Keenan Robinson, Texas
Shayne Skov, Stanford
Sean Spence, Miami (Fla.)
Kenny Tate, Maryland
Bruce Taylor, Virginia Tech
Mike Taylor, Wisconsin
Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
Danny Trevathan, Kentucky
Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
Bobby Wagner, Utah State
Tahir Whitehead, Temple
Garrick Williams, Texas A&M
Korey Williams, Southern Miss
Dwayne Woods, Bowling Green
Tom Wort, Oklahoma


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