The Butkus Award, named for Dick Butkus, a Chicago Bears legend, a Pro Football Hall Of Famer, and arguably the greatest middle linebacker in the history of the sport, is given to the best linebacker at the high school, college, and professional level. Today the finalists for the high school and collegiate level were announced, and they are (listed alphabetically):
Butkus Award Collegiate Finalists:
- Lavonte David, Nebraska
- Dont’a Hightower, Alabama
- Jarvis Jones, Georgia
- Luke Kuechly, Boston College
- Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
- Courtney Upshaw, Alabama
Butkus Award High School Finalists:
- Kwon Alexander, Oxford High School, Ala.
- Mike Barton, Concord De La Salle High School, Concord, Calif.
- Noor Davis, Leesburg High School, Fla.
- Quanzell Lambert, Timber Creek High School, Sicklerville, NJ
- Antonio Morrison, Bolingbrook High School, Ill.
- Jabari Ruffin, Downey High School, Calif.
Last season’s Butkus Award winners were Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers, Von Miller of Texas A&M University and now with the Denver Broncos (pictured above receiving the award) , and Tony Steward of St. Augustine, Fla., who is now playing at Clemson.