CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Nov 20, 2012) - Finalists for the 28th annual collegiate and high school Butkus Award® honoring the nation's top football linebackers were announced today by the Butkus Foundation. Finalists were selected by a panel of 51 coaches, scouts and journalists supervised by Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly who follow all applicable rules of their leagues. Winners will be announced the first week in December. Finalists for 2012 include (alphabetically):
Butkus Award Collegiate Finalists:
Jarvis Jones, Georgia (Jr.)
Dion Jordan, Oregon (Sr.)
Kevin Minter, LSU (Jr.)
C.J. Mosley, Alabama (Jr.)
Manti Te'o, Notre Dame (Sr.)
Butkus Award High School Finalists:
Reuben Foster, Auburn, Alabama
Trey Johnson, Central Gwinett, Lawrenceville, Georgia
Peter Kalambayi, Butler, Matthews, N. Carolina
Isaac Savaiinaea, Punahou, Honolulu, Hawaii
Jaylon Smith, Bishop Luers, Fort Wayne, Indiana
The Butkus Award® draws attention to the I Play Clean™ campaign, which encourages teens to train hard, eat well, and play with attitude, instead of resorting to performance-enhancing drugs. Dick Butkus encourages past and current athletes, coaches and fans to pledge their support at www.iplayclean.org or www.facebook.com/i.play.clean. Considered one of the greatest football players in history, Butkus was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979, following an illustrious career with the Chicago Bears, University of Illinois and Chicago Vocational School. Meanwhile, his son Matt was a defensive lineman for the University of Southern California, and joins his father in philanthropic efforts. More information is at www.thebutkusaward.com or www.facebook.com/51.butkus.
Last season's collegiate winner was Luke Kuechly of Boston College (Carolina Panthers) and the high school winner was Noor Davis of Leesburg, Fla. (Stanford). The pro award was shared by Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens and DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys.
The Butkus Award is part of the National College Football Awards Association, a coalition of the major collegiate awards. More information is available at www.NCFAA.org.