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2000 Butkus Awards Watch List Announced

Aug. 26, 2000

ORLANDO, Fla. ( – The Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, Inc. (DACO), the organization which annually presents the prestigious Butkus Award to the nation’s best collegiate linebacker has announced the preliminary list of 70 candidates for this year’s award.

Dan Morgan of Miami and Byron Thweatt of Virginia are both on the watch list for the third time in their careers and North Carolina’s Brandon Spoon is on his fourth consecutive Butkus Award Watch List. This is the first time that a linebacker has made the Butkus Award Watch List four years in a row in the award’s 16-year history.

The Butkus Award Watch List will be trimmed to 10 semi-finalists on October 19. The three finalists will be announced on a national teleconference on November 9 at Spectator’s Sports Bar at the Downtown Marriott Orlando. The winner will be announced Friday, December 8 during the Butkus Award Gala at Hard Rock Live at Universal Studios CityWalk. All three finalists, along with their coaches and families are invited to attend.

This year’s preliminary list includes 70 noteworthy candidates that represent schools and conferences from across the nation. The independent selection committee for the 2000 Butkus Award is comprised of 28 of the nation’s foremost media members. The Butkus Award Selection Committee members are beginning the process of reviewing the candidates this week. Additional candidates may be added in the coming weeks. The voting for the three finalists and Butkus Award winner will be conducted by confidential balloting of the Selection Committee.

There are 11 candidates making their second appearance on the Butkus Award Watch List: Rick Crowell (Colorado State), Ryan Nece (UCLA), Kautai Oleavo (Utah), Jerry Phillips (Tulane), Tommy Polley (Florida State), Kamal Shakir (Memphis), Tim Skipper (Fresno State), Taylor Suman (Temple), Jashon Sykes (Colorado), Clayton White (NC State) and Jamie Winborn (Vanderbilt).

The Butkus Award is regarded as one of the most elite individual honors in college football. Past recipients include outstanding linebackers such as LaVar Arrington (1999-Penn State), Chris Claiborne (1998-Southern California), Andy Katzenmoyer (1997-Ohio State), Matt Russell (1996 Colorado), Kevin Hardy (1995-Illinois), Dana Howard (1994-Illinois), Trev Alberts (1993-Nebraska), Marvin Jones (1992-Florida State), Erick Anderson (1991-Michigan), Alfred Williams (1990-Colorado), Percy Snow (1989-Michigan State), Derrick Thomas (1988-Alabama), Paul McGowan (1997-Florida State), and Brian Bosworth (1985 and 1986-Oklahoma). Created in 1985 by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando Inc., the Butkus Award carries the name and support of one of the greatest middle linebackers in football history, Dick Butkus of Illinois.

2000 Butkus Award List of Candidates

Name School Name School
Keith Adams Clemson Dan Morgan Miami
Brian Allen Florida State Ryan Nece UCLA
Adam Archulta Arizona State Kautai Oleavo Utah
Akin Ayodele Purdue Brent Passay Utah State
Boss Bailey Georgia Jeremiah Pharms Washington
Kendrell Bell Georgia Jerry Phillips Tulane
Kevin Bentley Northwestern Kenny Philpott Eastern Michigan
Eric Brackins Michigan Carlos Polk Nebraska
Shannon Brazell TCU Tommy Polley Florida State
Rocky Calmus Oklahoma Saleem Rasheed Alabama
Quenton Carver Arkansas Darnell Robinson Oregon State
Patrick Chukwurah Wyoming Jamonte Robinson Missouri
Rick Crowell Colorado State Wayne Rogers Houston
Derrell Daniels Washington Kevin Rollins Toledo
Andra Davis Florida Cameron Saulsby Northern Illinois
Anthony Denman Notre Dame Kamal Shakir Memphis
Justin Ena BYU Tim Skipper Fresno State
Treverance Faulk LSU Justin Smith Indiana
Larry Foote Michigan Matt Smith Oregon
Jason Glenn Texas A&M Brandon Spoon North Carolina
Ryan Gonsales Pittsburgh Markus Steele USC
Morlon Greenwood Syracuse Eddie Strong Mississippi
Pernell Griffin East Carolina Taylor Suman Temple
Sean Hoffman Minnesota Jashon Sykes Colorado
Orlando Huff Fresno State LeVar Talley Temple
Bradie James LSU Ben Taylor Virginia Tech
Riall Johnson Stanford Robert Thomas UCLA
Ben Leber Kansas State Byron Thweatt Virginia
De’Andre Lewis Texas TJ Turner Michigan State
Jason Loezel Purdue Lyle Weaver Army
Vassay Marc South Florida Eric Westmoreland Tennessee
Torrence Marshall Oklahoma Clayton White NC State
Ben Mezera Minnesota Jamie Winborn Vanderbilt
Marion Moore Maryland Max Yates Marshall
Zeke Moreno USC Michael Young Illinois