NDSU's DeLuca on Butkus Award watch list

(STATS) - North Dakota State senior Nick DeLuca was the lone FCS player nominated Tuesday to the preseason watch list of the 32nd annual Butkus Award, which honors the nation's best linebackers.

DeLuca, a 6-foot-3, 245-pounder from Omaha, Nebraska, was an All-Missouri Valley Football Conference first-team selection last season while North Dakota State won a record fifth straight FCS national championship. He started at middle linebacker in all 15 games and registered 135 tackles - 54 more than any teammate - with 10 tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions, six pass breakups, one quarterback hurry and two forced fumbles.

There are professional, collegiate and high school versions of the Butkus Award. The watch list for the collegiate award includes candidates from 44 universities.

2016 Collegiate Butkus Award Watch List

Ryan Anderson, University of Alabama

Kendall Beckwith, Louisiana State University

Vince Biegel, University of Wisconsin

Dante Booker, The Ohio State University

Ben Boulware, Clemson University

Tyus Bowser, University of Houston

Richie Brown, Mississippi State University

Riley Bullough, Michigan State University

Jason Cabinda, Penn State University

Jeff Camilli, Fresno State University

Lorenzo Carter, University of Georgia

Jermaine Carter, University of Maryland

Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt University

Kevin Davis, Colorado State University

Jarrad Davis, University of Florida

Nick DeLuca, North Dakota State University

Brooks Ellis, University of Arkansas

Jordan Evans, University of Oklahoma

Devonte' Fields, University of Louisville

Salamo Fiso, Arizona State University

Reuben Foster, University of Alabama

T.J. Holloman, University of South Carolina

Travin Howard, Texas Christian University

Shane Huber, University of Massachusetts

Malik Jefferson, University of Texas

Josey Jewell, University of Iowa

Peter Kalambayi, Stanford University

Harvey Kangi, Brigham Young University

Keith Kelsey, University of Louisville

Micah Kiser, University of Virginia

Elijah Lee, Kansas State University

Raekwon McMillan, The Ohio State University

Matt Milano, Boston College

Charmeachealle Moore, Kansas State University

Nyles Morgan, University of Notre Dame

Calvin Munson, San Diego State University

Hardy Nickerson, University of Illinois

Jalen Reeves-Maybin, University of Tennessee

T.J. Ricks, Old Dominion University

Auggie Sanchez, University of South Florida

Michael Scherer, University of Missouri

Cameron Smith, University of Southern California

Steven Taylor, University of Houston

Austin Valdez, Bowling Green University

Tanner Vallejo, Boise State University

Azeem Victor, University of Washington

Anthony Walker, Northwestern University

Nyeem Warman-White, Penn State University

Tim Williams, University of Alabama

Eric Wilson, University of Cincinnati

Taylor Young, Baylor University

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