In the News


    CHICAGO – (October 27, 2014) – Leading candidates for the 30th annual Butkus Award® honoring the nation’s best linebackers at the collegiate and high school levels were revealed today by the Butkus Foundation.


    Fifteen linebackers from 12 institutions were named as collegiate semi-finalists, including 2013 collegiate semifinalist Denzel Perryman of Miami, 2012 high school Butkus winner Jaylon Smith of Notre Dame and 2010 high school Butkus runner-up Stephone Anthony of Clemson.


    Butkus Award 2014 Collegiate Semi-Finalists

    ·         Stephone Anthony, Clemson University

    ·         Myles Jack, University of California Los Angeles

    ·         Jordan Jenkins, University of Georgia

    ·         A.J. Johnson, University of Tennessee

    ·         Eric Kendricks, University of California Los Angeles

    ·         Hau'oli Kikaha, University of Washington

    ·         Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State University

    ·         Denzel Perryman, University of Miami (Fla.)

    ·         Hayes Pullard, University of Southern California

    ·         Reggie Ragland, University of Alabama

    ·         Jake Ryan, University of Michigan

    ·         Jaylon Smith, University of Notre Dame

    ·         Eric Striker, University of Oklahoma

    ·         Shaq Thompson, University of Washington

    ·         Ramik Wilson, University of Georgia


    Fifteen linebackers from high schools in ten states were named as high school semi-finalists.


    Butkus Award 2014 High School Semi-Finalists

    ·         Jerome Baker, Cleveland, OH

    ·         Josh Barajas, Merrillville, IN

    ·         Mekhi Brown, Columbus, GA

    ·         Ricky DeBerry, Mechanicsville, VA

    ·         Porter Gustin, Salem, UT

    ·         Justin Hilliard, Cincinnati, OH

    ·         Jeffery Holland, Jacksonville, FL

    ·         John Houston, Gardena, CA

    ·         Malik Jefferson, Mesquite, TX

    ·         Leo Lewis, Brookhaven, MS

    ·         Osa Masina, Salt Lake City, UT

    ·         Joshua McMillon, Memphis, TN

    ·         Sherrod Pittman, Jacksonville, FL

    ·         Jahvoni Simmons, Virginia Beach, VA

    ·         Jahvoni Simmons, Virginia Beach, VA


    Finalists for both the collegiate and high school divisions will be named November 24 and winners by December 9, by the independent panel of 51 recruiters, scouts, coaches and journalists. A professional Butkus Award honoree will be named in early 2015.


    2013 Butkus Award winners:

    ·         Professional: NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco 49ers

    ·         Collegiate: C.J. Mosley, Alabama (now Baltimore Ravens)

    ·         High School: Raekwon McMillan, Liberty County, Ga. (now Ohio State)


    Created in 1985, the Butkus Award was expanded in 2008 to honor linebackers at three levels while spreading the word about Butkus’ I Play Clean™ initiative which encourages teens to eat well, train hard, and play with attitude instead of using performance-enhancing drugs. More information is available at and on facebook at


    The Butkus Award, and on facebook at 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 21 most prestigious awards in college football with 678 years of selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.orgfor more information.