Greg Jones Named Semi Finalist for the Butkus Award
CHICAGO â€“ (October 21, 2010) â€“ Collegiate and high school nominees were announced today for the 26th Annual Butkus AwardÂ® honoring the nationâ€™s top football linebackers, at a Butkus Foundation Charity Fundraiser here.
The 15 collegiate semi-finalist nominees include three who were nominated last year: Greg Jones of Michigan State; Travis Lewis of Oklahoma, and; Von Miller of Texas A&M, along with Manti Teâ€™o of Notre Dame, who won the high school Butkus Award in 2008.Â Finalists will be announced November 23, and winners notified by December 8.Â
â€œThis Award is about honoring linebackers, and reminding them that they have a responsibility to serve as role models and to give back to society,â€ said Dick Butkus, the legendary Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker.Â
Collegiate 2010 Butkus Award nominees:
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Akeem Ayers, UCLA
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Bruce Carter, North Carolina
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Mason Foster, Washington
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Mario Harvey, Marshall
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Donâ€™tâ€™a Hightower, Alabama
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Justin Houston, Georgia
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Nate Irving, North Carolina State
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Greg Jones, Michigan State
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Luke Kuechly, Boston College
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Travis Lewis, Oklahoma
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Casey Matthews, Oregon
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Von Miller, Texas A&M
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Keenan Robinson, Texas
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Sean Spence, Miami (Fla.)
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Manti Teâ€™o, Notre Dame
Butkus wants the Butkus AwardÂ® to draw attention to the I Play Cleanâ„¢ campaign, which aims to end steroid use in organized sports.Â He encourages past and current athletes, coaches and fans to pledge their support at www.iplayclean.org.Â That campaign is presented by Old Spice, and receives sports nutrition support from Abbott Nutritionâ€™s EAS brand.Â The Butkus Foundation also supports the Butkus Center for Cardiovascular Wellness that strives to control heart disease through early detection and preventive lifestyle modification.
The Butkus Award is selected by a 51-person panel comprised of scouts, coaches and journalists.Â Selectors follow all rules of their leagues, including limitations on contact with players.Â Individual votes remain completely confidential.
Butkus Award winners in 2009 included Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers and the first person to win the collegiate and pro award; Rolando McClain of Alabama (now Oakland Raiders) and Jordan Hicks of Lakota West High School near Cincinnati (now University of Texas.)
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.Â Meanwhile, his son Matt was a defensive lineman for the University of Southern Californiaâ€™s 1990 Rose Bowl winning team, and joins his father in philanthropic efforts.Â More information is at www.thebutkusaward.com