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Surprise! Nicholas Named to Butkus Watch List

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Courtesy USF SID Office

USF’s Nicholas Named to Butkus Watch List for Third Straight Season

ORLANDO, FLA. (August 24, 2006)- 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 65 candidates for this year’s award, and USF’s Stephen Nicholas has made the list for the third straight season.  

Nicholas, 6-3, 225, enters his fourth season as a starter at USF, where he has 224 career tackles with 12.5 sacks, including seven in 2005. The graduate of Jacksonville Lee High School, is also on the Bronco Nagurski Trophy Watch List in 2006.

If 2005 Butkus Award® winner Paul Posluszny of Penn State repeats in 2006, he would become just the second linebacker to win the Butkus Award® twice in DACO’s 22-year history.  Posluszny would tie with Brian Bosworth of Oklahoma who won the Butkus Award® in 1985 and 1986 respectively.

The Butkus Award® Watch List will be trimmed to 10 semi-finalists on Thursday, October 19.  That semi-finalist list will be cut down to three finalists which will be announced via a national teleconference with players, coaches, media members and Butkus Award® officials on Thursday, November 9.  The winner will be announced Saturday, December 9, 2006 at the Butkus Award® Gala in Orlando, FL.  The Butkus Award® will be presented to the winner by the award’s namesake former University of Illinois and Chicago Bear NFL Hall of Fame member, **** Butkus.  The finalists, their coaches and families are invited to attend the Butkus Award® Gala festivities including a welcome reception, golf tournament and silent auction.  

The independent Butkus Award® Selection Committee for the 2006 Butkus Award®, comprised of some of the nation’s foremost journalists, is solely and exclusively responsible for all voting in the Butkus Award® selection process.  Additional Watch List candidates may be added in the coming weeks due to outstanding in-season play.  Voting for the three finalists and the Butkus Award® winner will be conducted by exclusive confidential ballots of the selection committee.

The Butkus Award ® is regarded as one of the most elite individual honors in college football.  Past recipients include such outstanding linebackers as: Paul Posluszny (2005-Penn State); Derrick Johnson (2004-Texas) Teddy Lehman (2003-Oklahoma); E.J. Henderson (2002-Maryland); Rocky Calmus (2001-Oklahoma); Dan Morgan (2000-Miami (FL); 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, **** Butkus.

Abbate, Jon

Wake Forest

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Archer, Brandon

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Beason, Jon

Miami (FL)

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Caldwell, Rob



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I expect Big Ben on that list during the season also ... really suprised he was left off.

Go BULLS !!!

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good company

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We will also be facing watch list LBs at FIU, UNC, Pitt, Louisville, WVU, Cincinnasti, and Cuse.

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he came back for senior year (smart) and probably will get drafted if he has a good season

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