SOURCE: Butkus Foundation

Butkus Foundation

October 31, 2016 09:07 ET

Butkus Award® 32nd Season College and High School Semi-Finalists Announced

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - October 31, 2016) - Semi-finalists for the 32nd annual Butkus Award® honoring the nation's best linebackers at the collegiate and high school levels were revealed today by the Butkus Foundation.

A dozen collegiate linebackers from ten universities were named collegiate semi-finalists, including two prior high school winners, Raekwon McMillan (2013) and Malik Jefferson (2014). Meanwhile, 15 high school linebackers from 11 states were named high school semi-finalists.

Butkus Award 2016 Collegiate Semi-Finalists

  • Ryan Anderson, Alabama
  • Jerome Baker, Ohio State
  • Kendall Beckwith, LSU
  • Jack Cichy*, Wisconsin
  • Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt
  • Jarrad Davis, Florida
  • Reuben Foster, Alabama
  • Malik Jefferson, Texas
  • Josey Jewell, Iowa
  • Micah Kiser, Virginia
  • Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State
  • Azeem Victor, Washington

* Selectors noted that Jack Cichy's performance to date qualifies him as a semi-finalist but an injury will likely will keep him off the field for the remainder of the season.

Butkus Award 2016 High School Semi-Finalists

  • Markail Benton, Central, Phenix City, Ala.
  • Baron Browning, Kennedale, Texas
  • VanDarius Cowan, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
  • Levi Draper, Collinsville, Okla.
  • Hunter Echols, Cathedral, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Justin Foster, Crest, Shelby, N.C.
  • Willie Gay, Starkville, Miss.
  • Anthony Hines, Plano East, Texas
  • Bruce Jordan-Swilling, Brother Martin, New Orleans, La.
  • Nate McBride, Vidalia, Ga.
  • Dylan Moses, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
  • Jarez Parks, Sebastian River, Fla.
  • Jacob Phillips, East Nashville Magnet, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Jaelan Phillips, East Valley, Redlands, Calif.
  • Josh Ross, St. Mary's, Orchard Lake, Mich.

Selection is handled by a panel of 51 coaches, recruiters, scouts and journalists who vote separately and confidentially using a 3-2-1 process. Selectors and selection criteria are posted at

Finalists in both divisions will be announced November 21, and winners will be announced on or before December 6. The pro winner will be announced in early 2017.

The 2015 Butkus Award winners:

• Professional: Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers
• Collegiate: Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame (now Dallas Cowboys)
• High School: Caleb Kelly, Clovis West, Calif. (now Oklahoma)

The Butkus Award® is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization. In addition to honoring top linebackers, the Butkus Award helps spread the word about the I Play Clean™ initiative which encourages teens to eat well, train hard, and play with attitude instead of resorting to performance-enhancing drugs. The Butkus Award is part of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which includes the 22 most prestigious awards in college football with 722 years of selection excellence.

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