CLEMSON, SC / ACCESSWIRE / December 8, 2019 / The 35th annual collegiate Butkus Award® honoring the nation’s best collegiate linebacker was presented today to Isaiah Simmons, a junior at Clemson University in a surprise announcement following a bowl selection event.
Simmons, the first from Clemson to win the award, garnered 29 percent of the weighted vote and 35 percent of first place votes from the selection committee.
The 6-4, 230 lb. linebacker from Olathe, Kans. has amassed 93 tackles, 58 solo, during the Tigers’ 2019 undefeated march to the College Football Playoff. He also has seven sacks, a forced fumble and two picks. His performance follows a breakout sophomore season where he notched 89 tackles and forced three fumbles and an interception for the champion Tigers.
The selection committee stated: “Simmons is one of the most versatile athletes to play the linebacker position. He’s an exceptional athlete with unique length and makes plays at all three levels, with terrific rush ability, blitz timing, cover skill and tackling range. He’s a modern-day linebacker with special match-up skills. For as good of a football player as he is, he’s a better person and will represent the Butkus Award with class.”
Following Simmons was Evan Weaver of California with 20 percent of the weighted vote, Zack Baun of Wisconsin (17%) Jordyn Brooks of Texas Tech (15%) and Micah Parsons of Penn State (13%). Logan Wilson of Wyoming and Kenneth Murray of Oklahoma also received votes.
The Butkus Award® selection committee is comprised of 51 football coaches, recruiters, talent scouts and journalists who study football talent yearlong. Selectors are asked to recognize qualities that defined Butkus’ career; toughness, on-field leadership, competitiveness, football character, and linebacking skills. They follow a 3-2-1 weighted vote in a confidential ballot.
Simmons succeeds the 2018 collegiate winner Devin White of LSU (now Tampa Bay Buccaneers). The 2019 high school winner was Justin Flowe of Upland, Calif. The 2019 pro winner will be announced early in 2020.
The Butkus Award® is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization which advances health and wellness through special initiatives. This includes the I Play Clean® program encouraging athletes to play using their natural ability, and the Butkus Takes Heart™ program encouraging preventive heart scans and screening among adults.
The Butkus Award a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. NCFAA’s 25 awards have honored more than 800 since 1935.
SOURCE: Butkus Foundation
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