The Big 12 Conference placed 22 student-athletes to national preseason award watch lists as the Butkus and Rotary Lombardi Award Watch Lists were released Monday morning.
Seven Big 12 student-athletes were named to the 2014 Butkus Award Watch List. Bryce Hager (Baylor), Ben Heeney (Kansas), Paul Dawson (TCU), Steve Edmond (Texas), Jordan Hicks (Texas), Frank Shannon (Oklahoma) and Eric Striker (Oklahoma) were all recognized on the 51 man list.
The Butkus Award is presented annually to the nation’s best linebackers at the professional, collegiate and high school levels. The preseason watch list for all three levels of competition is comprised of 51 players, honoring the now-retired professional jersey number of Dick Butkus, who is regarded as one of football’s all-time best defensive players. There are also 51 members on the selection panel comprised of coaches, journalists and evaluators. The Big 12 Conference is looking to secure the Butkus award for the first time since 2004 when Texas’ Derrick Johnson was honored with the award.
Fifteen additional student-athletes were named to the 2014 Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List. Spencer Drango (Baylor), Bryce Hager (Baylor), Shawn Oakman (Baylor), Ben Henney (Kansas), B.J. Finney (K-State), Ryan Mueller (K-State), Cody Whitehair (K-State), Devonte Fields (TCU), Chucky Hunter (TCU), Steve Edmond (Texas), Dominic Espinosa (Texas), Cedric Reed (Texas), Le’Raven Clark (Texas Tech), Quinton Spain (West Virginia)and Eric Striker (Oklahoma) were all named to the 123 man list.
The Rotary Lombardi Award is given annually to the nation’s top lineman and is awarded by the Rotary Club of Houston in memory of Vince Lombardy. A press conference will be held on Thursday, November 6 to announce the 12 Semi-Finalists for the 45th Rotary Lombardi Award, followed by an announcement of the four finalists on November 20th. The winner of the award will be announced on Wednesday, December 10, at the Rotary Lombardi Award Ceremony to be held at the Bayou Music Center in Downtown Houston.