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October 25, 2011CHICAGO - North Carolina senior linebacker Zach Brown has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the 2011 Butkus Award?, which is presented annually to the nation's top linebacker. Brown leads the team with 53 tackles, including seven for losses and 4.5 sacks. He also has four pass breakups, one interception, one forcedfumble and three quarterback pressures.
The 12 collegiate semi-finalists include five returning nominees. Finalists will be announced November 22 and winners will be announced by December 7.
"This Award is about honoring linebackers at all levels, and reminding them that they have a responsibility to serve as rolemodels and to give back to society," said Dick Butkus, the legendary Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker.
Collegiate 2011 Butkus Award Semi-Finalists:
Zach Brown University of North Carolina
Vontaze Burfict Arizona State University
Audie Cole North Carolina State University
Lavonte David University of Nebraska
Dont'a Hightower* University of Alabama
Luke Kuechly Boston College
Travis Lewis* University of Oklahoma
Keenan Robinson* University of Texas
Sean Spence* University of Miami (Fla.)
Manti Te'o* University of Notre Dame
Courtney Upshaw University of Alabama
Jarvis Jones University of Georgia
* Denotes 2010 Semi-Finalist
The Butkus Award is selected by a 51-person panel comprised of scouts, coaches and journalists. Selectors follow all rules of their leagues, including limitations on contact with players. Individual votes remain completely confidential. The panel is coordinated by Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly.
Considered one of the greatest football players in history, Butkus was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979, following an illustrious career with the Chicago Bears, University of Illinois and Chicago Vocational School. Meanwhile, his son Matt was a defensive lineman for the University of Southern California's 1990 Rose Bowl winning team, and joins his father in philanthropic efforts. More information is at www.thebutkusaward.com
The Butkus Award, www.thebutkusaward.com or www.facebook.com/51.butkus, is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization. It is part of the National College Football AwardsAssociation, a coalition of the major collegiate awards. More information is available at www.NCFAA.org.
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