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Olajubutu Named to Butkus Award Watch List

Olajubutu Named to Butkus Award Watch List

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.Senior Sam Olajubutu has been named to the pre-season watch list for the Butkus Award, an honor presented annually to the nation’s best collegiate linebacker, it was announced on Thursday by The Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, Inc. (DACO). Olajubutu is one of 65 candidates for this year’s award.

“It is an honor for Sam to be listed among the best linebackers in the nation,” Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt said. “He has earned his place among the best with his consistency and determination on the field. He is the heart and soul of our defense. He has had a good fall camp and we are all excited to see what he and his defensive teammates will be able to accomplish this season.”

Olajubutu earned honorable mention All-America honors and first-team All-Southeastern Conference accolades last season after racking up a team-leading 118 tackles, including 14.5 tackles for loss (-40) and 4.5 sacks (-22). In 2005, he recorded 14 or more tackles four times and was in double-figures five times. Olajubutu, who earned Defensive Player of the Week honors four times, made a career-high 18 tackles against Auburn, which tied for the SEC single-game high, and had 16 against Alabama.

Olajubutu enters his senior season with 257 career tackles and needing only 43 stops to become just the 14th Razorback to earn 300 tackles in his collegiate career.

The LaGrange, Ga., native has already been named to national watch lists for the Chuck Bednarik Award (nation’s top defensive player), the Bronko Nagurski Award (nation’s top defensive player), the Lott Trophy (nation’s top defensive player) and the Rotary Lombardi Award (nation’s top defensive lineman or linebacker).

Created in 1985 by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando Inc., the Butkus Award carries the name and support of one of the greatest middle linebackers in football history, Dick Butkus.

The Butkus Award Watch List will be trimmed to 10 semi-finalists on Thursday, Oct. 19. 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 Award officials on Thursday, Nov. 9. The winner will be announced Saturday, Dec. 9, 2006, at the Butkus Award Gala in Orlando, Fla. The Butkus Award will be presented to the winner by the award’s namesake the former University of Illinois and Chicago Bear NFL Hall of Fame member.

The independent Butkus Award Selection Committee for the 2006 Butkus Award, comprised of some of the nation’s foremost journalists, is solely and exclusively responsible for all voting in the Butkus Award selection process. Additional Watch List candidates may be added in the coming weeks due to outstanding in-season play. Voting for the three finalists and the Butkus Award winner will be conducted by exclusive confidential ballots of the selection committee.

2006 Butkus Award Watch List

Abbate, Jon, Wake Forest

Alexander, Rufus, Oklahoma

Alston, Mike, Toledo

Andrews, Dwayne, Fresno State

Archer, Brandon, Kansas State

Beason, Jon, Miami (FL)

Bell, Beau, UNLV

Bishop, Desmond, California

Blades, H.B., Pittsburgh

Bouie, Keyonvis, Florida International

Bunting, Nick, Tulsa

Caldwell, Rob, Navy

Castelo, Matt, San Jose State

Coleman, Nelson, Tulsa

Collavo, Troy, UTEP

Connor, Dan, Penn State

Crum, Maurice, Notre Dame

Davis, Buster, Florida State

Davis, Scott, Washington State

Dizon, Jordan, Colorado

Edwards, Larry, North Carolina

Everett, Earl, Florida

Felder, Anthony, California

Graves, Phillip, North Texas

Hall, KaMichael, Georgia Tech

Hall, Korey, Boise State

Hall, Vince, Virginia Tech

Harris, David, Michigan

Harris, Nate, Louisville

Herron, David, Michigan State

Highsmith, Ali, LSU

Holtzclaw, Dan, Eastern Michigan

Ismail, Ameer, Western Michigan

Jackson, Jarvis, Georgia

Jensen, Cameron, BYU

Jones, Jeremy, UTEP

Koehl, Wade, Houston

Latimer, Zach, Oklahoma

Leman, J, Illinois

Maualuga, Rey, USC

McKeon, Corey, Nebraska

McLee, Kevin, West Virginia

Miles, Edmund, Iowa

Muncy, Matt, Ohio

Nicholas, Stephen, South Florida

Olajubutu, Sam, Arkansas

Phillips, Blair, Oregon

Phillips, Jason, TCU

Posluszny, Paul , Penn State

Rivers, Keith, USC

Sabb, J.K., Middle Tennessee

Shelvin, John, Minnesota

Siler, Brandon, Florida

Simpson, Juwan, Alabama

Smith, Corey, Cincinnati

Smith, Kelvin, Syracuse

Smith, Mastaki, UAB

Thornton, Dennis, Marshall

Toal, Brian, Boston College

Warren, Justin, Texas A&M

Sports Category : Football