CHICAGO – BYU senior linebacker Harvey Langi was named to the 2016 preseason watch list for the 32nd annual Butkus Award, honoring the nation’s best linebacker on Tuesday.
Langi was No. 2 in total tackles at BYU in 2015 with 68 stops, including 6.5 tackles for loss. He posted 4.5 sacks and also had two interceptions. Langi started in all 11 games played last season at middle linebacker and has played in 23 career games at BYU. He has also spent time in the backfield as a running back and as a kick returner.
Mirroring the legendary “51” pro jersey of the award’s namesake Dick Butkus whom NFL Films considers the best defensive player in football history, each watch list features 51 players who will be reviewed by a 51-person selection panel of deeply experienced coaches, talent evaluators and journalists who vote by private ballot. Appearance on the watch list is not required to become a semi-finalist.
The Collegiate Butkus Award watch list includes candidates from 44 universities. It includes one returning finalist, Raekwon McMillan of Ohio State, who won the 2013 national high school Butkus Award.
Semi-finalists will be named October 31, finalists November 21, and winners will be notified on or before December 6.
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)
Formed in 1985, the Butkus Award was expanded in 2008 to honor linebackers at three levels while helping spread the word about Butkus’ I Play Clean™ initiative which encourages teens to eat well, train hard, and play with attitude instead of resorting to performance-enhancing drugs. More information is available at www.iplayclean.org.
The Butkus Award, www.thebutkusaward.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/51.butkus, is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization. The Butkus Award is part of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which includes the 22 most prestigious awards in college football. Visit www.NCFAA.org for more information.