Notre Dame has dominated the Butkus Award in the last decade, both from a college and high school standpoint. The 2021 watch list for both awards is out and all four of Notre Dame's 2022 linebacker commits were on the 50-man Butkus Award watch list.
Josh Burnham, Jaylen Sneed, Niuafe Tuihalamaka and Nolan Ziegler were all named to the list, which is incredibly impressive and is yet another example of how loaded that linebacker class is for the Fighting Irish.
Burnham, Sneed and Tuihalamaka are all ranked as Top 100 recruits by at least one recruiting service.
Burnham is ranked as the No. 84 overall player by 247Sports, making him the highest ranked Irish commit by that service. Sneed is ranked as the No. 100 player by 247Sports and is ranked No. 46 nationally by Rivals. Tuihalamaka is ranked as the nation's No. 97 overall player by ESPN.
Ziegler isn't ranked by any of the services but he is a consensus four-star recruit and grades out as a Top 200 player on the Irish Breakdown board.
Notre Dame does not have any college players on the Butkus Award watch list.
The high school Butkus Award started back in 2008 and former Notre Dame All-American Manti Te'o was the first winner. Another former Irish star - Jaylon Smith - won the award in 2012. Last season's winner was Prince Kollie, who is set to begin his freshman season in South Bend next week.
Notre Dame is also the only program to have three Butkus Award winners at the collegiate level in the last decade. Te'o won the award in 2012 and Smith won it in 2015. The third winner was Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who won the award following the 2020 season.
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