Oregon linebacker Noah Sewell has landed on the 2021 preseason watch list for the Butkus Award, given annually to the nation's best linebacker at both the high school and collegiate levels.
The American Samoa native was one of 51 names on the list, which includes seven other Pac-12 talents such as USC's Drake Jackson and Washington's Zion Tupuola-Fetui.
Sewell has already made a name for himself since arriving on campus in Eugene as part of Oregon's 2020 recruiting class, and is widely-viewed as one of the conference's best defensive talents after being named the 2020 Defensive Freshman of the Year. As a first year phenom, he appeared in all seven games and was Oregon's leading tackler with 45.
He totaled 6.5 tackles for loss, a pair of sacks and a forced fumble. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound backer was the first Duck to lead the team in tackles as a freshman since Troy Dye, who became a tackling machine during his days in the green and yellow.
No. 1 also proved hard to keep off the field even when he isn't 100%, surprising many by suiting up against Oregon State less than a week after being carted off the field against UCLA with what appeared to be a significant leg injury. Sewell is one of the most athletic linebackers in the entire Power 5 and many in the Oregon community are excited about the possibility of him lining up alongside Justin Flowe, the other half of the most-talented linebacker haul the program has seen in a single signing class.
No player from Oregon has ever won the award since its creation in 1985.
Other preseason honors for Sewell include:
- Phil Steele Pac-12 All-Conference second team
- Athlon Sports Pac-12 All-Conference third team
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