Abe Brown and Brandon Johnson of the University of Louisville were named to the prestigious Butkus Award to the given to the nation's best collegiate linebacker. The two returning starters were among the 65 named to the preliminary list for this year's award. The Butkus Award and the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, Inc. are celebrating their 21st anniversary in 2005.
Brown started all 12 games last season and is slated to start for the Cards this season. He recorded 55 tackles and six sacks in his first year as a starter.
Johnson also started all 12 games last fall, recording 84 tackles, including 7 for a loss. The senior also totaled two inceptions as a junior.
Other BIG EAST Conference selections include H.B. Brown of Pittsburgh, James Hargrave of UConn, Kevin McLee of West Virginia, Stephen Nicholas of South Florida and Kelvin Smith of Syracuse.
The Butkus Award Watch List will be trimmed to 10 semi-finalists on Thursday, October 20. That semi-finalist list will be cut down to three
finalists which will be announced via a national teleconference with players, coaches, media members and Butkus AwardR officials on Thursday,
November 10. The winner will be announced Saturday, December 10, 2005 at the Butkus Award Gala in Orlando, FL. The Butkus Award will be presented to the winner by the award's namesake former University of Illinois and Chicago Bear NFL Hall of Fame member, Dick Butkus. The finalists, their coaches and families are invited to attend the Butkus Award Gala festivities including a welcome reception, golf tournament and silent auction.
This year's Watch List includes 65 noteworthy candidates that represent schools and conferences from across the nation. The independent selection
committee for the 2005 Butkus Award, comprised of 29 of the nation's foremost national media members, is solely responsible for all voting in the selection process. Selection Committee members have already started evaluating the candidates and will continue their review throughout the entire football season. Additional Watch List candidates may be added in the coming weeks. Voting for the three Butkus AwardR finalists and the Butkus Award winner will be conducted by confidential ballots of the selection committee.