NCAA Football: Wyoming vs Utah State

Cowboys linebacker Logan Wilson plays against the Utah State Aggies at War Memorial Stadium on Oct 20.

LARAMIE — The Butkus Award honoring the nation’s best linebackers kicked off its 35th annual selection process today by announcing its collegiate and high school preseason watch lists.

University of Wyoming senior middle linebacker Logan Wilson was among the collegiate players named to this year’s list. It was the first time in Wilson’s career that he was named to the Butkus Award Watch List. Wilson has started every game of his college career for the Cowboys — 39-consecutive games entering his senior season. He enters the 2019 season with 316 career tackles, which ranks No. 2 among all Football Bowl Subdivision players currently playing. He has been a starter on three consecutive bowl-eligible teams in 2016, 2017 and 2018. He helped lead Wyoming to the 2016 Mountain West Championship Game, the 2016 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl and the 2017 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Championship.

Each watch list contains 51 linebackers, mirroring the legendary “51” pro jersey associated with the Award’s namesake Dick Butkus, who was recognized by NFL Films as the best defensive player in football history.

The Collegiate Butkus Award watch list includes candidates from 39 universities, including returning finalist Dylan Moses of Alabama who won the 2016 high school Butkus Award, and returning semifinalist Markus Bailey of Purdue.

The High School Butkus Award watch list includes candidates from 47 secondary schools across 22 states, with Georgia schools fielding the most candidates in six.

Semifinalists will be named Nov. 4, finalists Nov. 25, and winners on or before Dec. 10. Appearing on the watch list is not a requirement to win the award.

ABOUT THE AWARD

The 2018 Butkus Award winners were:

• Professional: Khalil Mack, Chicago Bears

• Collegiate: Devin White, LSU (now Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

• High School: Nakobe Dean, Horn Lake, Miss. (now Georgia)

The Butkus Award, www.thebutkusaward.com and on Facebook at 51.butkus, is presented by the nonprofit Butkus Foundation. Selectors and selection criteria are located on the official website.

See the full 2019 watch list at rocketminer.com.

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