Friday, July 15, 2011

Temple's Whitehead on Butkus Watch List

CHICAGO (7/15/11) – Temple senior linebacker Tahir Whitehead (Newark, N.J.) is one of 51 players from 40 universities named to the 2011 Collegiate Butkus Award Watch List.

Also a preseason All-MAC honoree, Whitehead played in all 12 games with eight starts at outside linebacker last fall. He finished sixth on defense with 56 tackles, including 7.5 TFL.  Whitehead was named the team’s recipient of the 2011 Mark Bresani Award for spirit and enthusiasm, presented at the conclusion of spring drills.

The 27th annual collegiate Butkus Award® selection process to identify the best linebackers in the country announced the preseason watch lists for both the collegiate and high school levels.

Each watch list contains 51 candidates, honoring the now-retired professional jersey number of Dick Butkus, who is regarded by NFL Films as the best defensive player in football history.  The selection panel is comprised of 51 coaches, evaluators and journalists, coordinated by Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly.

Semifinalists will be named October 24, finalists November 22, and winners will be notified on or before December 7.  The Professional award will be announced in January 2012.  Candidates in addition to those appearing on the watch list may be considered for the Award.

Last Season's Butkus Award winners included: Clay Mathews, Super Bowl-winning Green Bay Packers; Von Miller of Texas A&M University and #2 overall NFL draft pick, and Tony Steward of St. Augustine, Fla., who is on scholarship at Clemson.

The Award was expanded in 2008 to honor linebackers at three levels while helping spread the word about Butkus’ I Play Clean™ initiative, which encourages teens to eat well, train hard, and play with attitude, instead of resorting to steroids and related drugs.  More information is available at or at

The Butkus Award, or, is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization. It is part of the National College Football Awards Association, a coalition of the major collegiate awards. More information is available at

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