Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

Mike McCray Named To 2017 Butkus Award Watch List

Mike McCray Named To 2017 Butkus Award Watch List

Malik Jefferson lands on another 2017 preseason award watch list.

Despite a long history of producing some of the nation's best linebackers, only USC's Chris Claiborne has won Butkus Award.

Fourteen Big Ten Conference students are appearing on the 2017 preseason watch lists for the Butkus Award (given annually to the nation's top linebacker) and the Paul Hornung Award (presented each year to the country's most versatile college football player), according to Monday's announcements by the Butkus Foundation and Louisville Sports Commission, respectively.

The Shreveport, Louisiana, product was previously named to the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award a year ago, following a junior campaign that saw him catch 24 passes for 393 yards and three touchdowns and turn seven rushes into 112 yards and two scores.

A third-year linebacker and native of Mesquite, Texas, Jefferson looks to become the first Longhorn since Derrick Johnson in 2004 to win the award.

In Clemson's run to the national championship season, Wilkins was named a first-team All-American by the AFCA, Football Writers Association and Phil Steele. He finished the 2016 season with 44 total tackles (23 solo, 21 assisted), six tackles for loss, five sacks, and two forced fumbles.

Morgan heads into his second full season as Notre Dame's starter at Mike linebacker after leading Notre Dame with 90 tackles and four sacks last fall.

The Butkus Award is named after Dick Butkus, the former Chicago Bears Hall of Fame linebacker who played in eight consecutive Pro Bowls.

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