SOURCE: Butkus Foundation
BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - Dec 4, 2011) - Boston College junior Luke Kuechly was named the 27th recipient of the collegiate Butkus Award® in a surprise presentation by legendary linebacker and award namesake Dick Butkus during a post-season team banquet today.
Kuechly was selected by a panel of 51 coaches, recruiters, scouts and journalists coordinated by Pro Football Weekly. Kuechly amassed 191 total tackles, including 102 solo, and three interceptions including one for touchdown. He finished runner-up in the 2010 voting.
"Luke Kuechly is a highly instinctive tackling machine with rare three-year production. He embodies the spirit of the Butkus Award, bringing tremendous intensity, competitiveness and leadership to the field, while continuing a legacy of outstanding linebacker play at Boston College," said Hub Arkush, publisher of Pro Football Weekly and coordinator of the Butkus Award selection committee.
Kuechly received 58 points and 18 first-place votes. Finishing second and third were Alabama teammates Dont'a Hightower (33 and 5) and Courtney Upshaw (23 and 3). Manti Te'o of Notre Dame finished fourth (20 and 1), Lavonte David of Nebraska was fifth (16 and 1), and Jarvis Jones of Georgia was sixth (14 and 1). Five other players received write-in votes.
Last season's Butkus Award winners included: Clay Matthews, Super Bowl-winning Green Bay Packers; Von Miller of Texas A&M University and #2 overall NFL draft pick by the Denver Broncos; and Tony Steward of St. Augustine, Fla., now at Clemson.
The Butkus Award inscription reads: "When a player receives the Butkus Award he will know two things. First, he is recognized as the best of the best linebackers in America. Second, and in the long run most important, he will understand that this recognition brings a responsibility to serve others by giving back. - Dick Butkus."
The Butkus Award® draws attention to the I Play Clean™ campaign, which aims to end steroid use in organized sports. Dick Butkus encourages athletes, coaches and fans to pledge their support at www.iplayclean.org or www.facebook.com/i.play.clean. Considered one of the greatest football players in history, 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. Meanwhile, his son Matt was a defensive lineman for the University of Southern California, and joins his father in philanthropic efforts. More information is at www.thebutkusaward.com.
The Butkus Award is part of the National College Football Awards Association, a coalition of the major collegiate awards. More information is available at www.ncfaa.org.