CHICAGO – University of Connecticut junior linebacker Yawin Smallwood (Worcester, Mass.) has been named to the Butkus Award 2013 Collegiate Watch List.
The 29th annual Butkus Award selection process to honor the nation’s best linebackers began on Monday with the announcement of the collegiate and high school pre-season watch list. 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. Semi-finalists will be named October 28, finalists November 26, and winners will be notified on or before December 10. The Pro Butkus Award winner will be announced in January 2014.
Smallwood was a first team All-BIG EAST selection in 2012 and led the Huskies in tackles with 120 and was second in tackles for a loss with 15. He had four sacks and two forced fumbles. Smallwood was tied for 20th in the country in tackles per game (10.0) and was third in the BIG EAST.
He was a three-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week. Smallwood has played in all 24 UConn games over the past two seasons and has 214 career tackles with 5.5 sacks and 17.5 TFLs.
Smallwood has also been named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List and the Bednarik Award Watch List for 2013. Both are given to the top defensive player in the country.