October 25, 2011

Jones named Butkus semifinalist

CHICAGO - University of Georgia outside linebacker Jarvis Jones has been named 1-of-12 semifinalists for the Butkus Award.

The Butkus Award, in its 27th year, honors the nation's top football linebackers. The finalists will be announced on Nov. 22 and the winner will be announced by Dec. 7.

Jones, a redshirt sophomore from Columbus, Ga., has started all seven games for the Bulldogs recording 39 tackles, and he leads the team in tackles for loss (10.0), sacks (4.0) and quarterback hurries (16). Jones' 1.43 tackles for loss per game ranks second in the Southeastern Conference. Additionally, Jones' efforts through the first seven games have also earned him Phil Steele Midseason All-American Third Team and All-SEC First Team honors.

The Butkus Award is selected by a 51-person panel comprised of scouts, coaches and journalists. Selectors follow all rules of their leagues, including limitations on contact with players, and individual votes remain completely confidential. The panel is coordinated by Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly.

Last season's collegiate Butkus Award winner Von Miller of Texas A&M University, who was the No. 2 overall NFL draft pick and is now a member of the Denver Broncos.

Considered one of the greatest football players in history, Dick 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.

The Butkus Award, www.thebutkusaward.com or www.facebook.com/51.butkus, is presented by the Butkus Foundation. It is part of the National College Football Awards Association, a coalition of the major collegiate awards. More information is available at www.NCFAA.org.

The Award was expanded in 2008 to honor linebackers at three levels (high school, collegiate and professional) 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 steroids and related drugs.  More information is available at www.iplayclean.org or at www.facebook.com/i.play.clean.

Collegiate 2011 Butkus Award Semifinalists:

Zach Brown

University of North Carolina

Vontaze Burfict

Arizona State University

Audie Cole

North Carolina State University

Lavonte David

University of Nebraska

Dont'a Hightower

University of Alabama

Jarvis Jones

University of Georgia

Luke Kuechly

Boston College

Travis Lewis

University of Oklahoma

Keenan Robinson

University of Texas

Sean Spence

University of Miami (Fla.)

Manti Te'o

University of Notre Dame

Courtney Upshaw

University of Alabama



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