Four Big 12 linebackers have been named to the 2012 Butkus Award preseason watch list.
Candidates for this year's award include A.J. Klein (Iowa State), Jake Knott (Iowa State), Arthur Brown (Kansas State) and Tom Wort (Oklahoma).
Knott, Brown and Wort earn the honor for the second consecutive year.
The award is named after Dick Butkus, an All-America linebacker at the University of Illinois in 1963-64 and NFL Hall-of-Famer. The watch list is determined by a selection panel which is comprised of 51 coaches, evaluators and journalists and coordinated by Pro Football Weekly.
Semifinalists will be named October 22 and a list of finalists will be announced on November 20. The winner will be notified on or before December 4.
The watch list for the 2012 Lombardi Award features 17 Big 12 student-athletes from nine different universities.
Texas leads the way with four players nominated for the award, which is given to the nation's top collegiate lineman. Three players from Oklahoma make the list along with Iowa State, Oklahoma State and TCU, who are each represented twice. Baylor, Kansas State, Texas Tech and West Virginia each have one honoree.
Candidates include Cyril Richardson (Baylor), A.J. Klein (Iowa State), Jake Knott (Iowa State), Arthur Brown (Kansas State), Ben Habern (Oklahoma), Gabe Ikard (Oklahoma), Corey Nelson (Oklahoma), Shaun Lewis (Oklahoma State), Lane Taylor (Oklahoma State), Blaize Foltz (TCU), Stansly Maponga (TCU), Jordan Hicks (Texas), Jackson Jeffcoat (Texas), Alex Okafor (Texas), Mason Walters (Texas), LaAdrian Waddle (Texas Tech) and Joe Madsen (West Virginia).
Finalists will be determined by The Lombardi Award Selection Committee, a group of more than 400 members including all past winners, all FBS head coaches and a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
The 43rd annual Lombardi award will be presented by the Rotary Club of Houston at the Hobby Center on December 5.