On Tuesday, the finalists for the 2022 Butkus Prize were announced. Arkansas Drew SandersIowa Jack CampbellGeorgia Jamon Dumas-JohnsonWashington state Diane Henley and Cincinnati Ivan Pace Jr. made the list of the best linebackers in college football. High school finalists were Merryville (Indiana) Andrean. Drake BowenMany (La.) hai Tacket CurtisDenton (TX) Ryan’s Anthony HillIowa City (Iowa) High Ben Cooter and Tallahassee (FL) Lincoln’s Raylene Wilson.
“The five finalists epitomize the resilience, courage, football temperament and playing ability that the Butkus Award seeks to celebrate,” said the namesake of the award, Dick Butkus, the legendary former Illinois Fighting Illini and Chicago Bears linebacker who was inducted by the Pro Football Hall of Fame. . 1979 “I am honored to present our finalists selected by our selection committee. There are many very worthy candidates. These midfielders are the most exceptional players and have a very bright future ahead of them.”
Winners will be awarded on January 21st at the Agua Caliente Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage, California.
“The Butkus Award, established in 1985, honors midfielders at three levels by supporting causes that are important to the Butkus family,” the Butkus Foundation said in a statement. “Reasons include the Butkus Takes HeartTM initiative, which encourages early screening for cardiovascular disease in adults, and the I Play Clean® initiative, which encourages athletes to train naturally without doping. A 51-member panel of trainers, scouts and journalists leads the selection process. The Butkus Foundation has been presenting school and professional awards since 2008. The collegiate award is now in its 38th season.”
Sanders – a transfer from Alabama – totaled 96 tackles (12 1/2 for a loss), 8 1/2 sacks, three forced fumbles, and one interception (four passes) in 11 games in his first season in Arkansas.
Campbell, a senior from Iowa, is fifth among FBS players this season with 110 tackles. He ended his tally with two interceptions (three pass interruptions) and one forced fumble in 11 games.
Dumas-Johnson, a Georgia sophomore, has 54 tackles this year (seven for a loss), three sacks and two passes in 11 games.
Henley made 102 tackles (12 for a loss), four sacks, two forced fumbles (two recoveries) and one interception in 11 games as a fifth-year senior for the Cougars.
This fall, Pace, the Bearcats’ senior player, has amassed 107 tackles (19 for a loss), nine sacks and two forced fumbles in 11 games.
Among high school students, four out of five are Bowen (Notre Dame), Curtis (South Carolina), Cooter (Iowa) and Wilson (Georgia). Hill decommissioned November 7 from Texas A&M.
The inscription on the award reads: “When a player receives the Butkus Award, he will know two things. First, he is recognized as the best of the best midfielders in America. Secondly, and ultimately most importantly, he will understand that this recognition brings a responsibility to serve others by giving. — Dick Butkus.