Yesterday, both the Butkus Ward Watch List and the Lombardi Award List were released. The Butkus Award is given annually to the nation’s top linebacker and was named after former Chicago Bears star Dick Butkus. Butkus played for the University of Illinois (1962-64) and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
A single member from the Mountain West Conference was selected as one of the 51 names of the 2012 watch list and that honor belongs to the University of Nevada Wolf Pack: Senior OLB Jeremiah Greene, 6-1, 235 lbs.
The Rotary Club of Houston also announced their 43rd Annual Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, an award given to the nation’s top college lineman or linebacker each year. This year seven Mountain West Conference selectees made that list:Chris Barker, G, University of Nevada. Barker is a 2 time 1st team All-WAC selection with 40 career starts.
Travis Brown, LB, Fresno State. He is a 1st team All-WAC selection and leads the Bulldogs with 85 tackles.
Nick Carlson, C, University of Wyoming. Carlson is a 2nd team All-MWC selection with 33 career starts.
Gavin Escobar, TE, San Diego State. A 1st team All-MWC in 2011 and 2nd team All-MWC in 2010.
Joe Kellogg, G, Boise State. A 2nd team All-MWC, three year starter for the Broncos with 21 career starts.
Jeff Nady, OT, University of Nevada. A 2nd team All-WAC as a junior and one of top tackles in the West.
Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State. A 2nd team All-MWC in 2011 and a 1st team All-American in 2010.
Future Mountain West Conference members San Jose State and Utah State also had selections:
Keith Smith, LB, San Jose State. As a 2nd team All-WAC as a sophomore, Smith led the Spartans with 104 tackles.
Travis Johnson, DE, San Jose State. He is a 1st team All-WAC selection with 9.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for a loss.
David Quessenberry, OT, San Jose State. He is a 2nd team All-WAC selection and projected to be one of the top 30 tackles in the nation.
Tyler Larsen, C, Utah State. Larsen was a 1st team All-WAC offensive lineman selection in 2011.
The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List is given to a selection committee comprised of more than 500 members and it will then be revised by periodic voting. The first round will determine the Top 25 Quarter finalists for 2012. Eventually the list will be reduced to four finalists with the winner of the 43rd Rotary Lombardi Award being announced on December 5, 2012 at The Hobby Center in Houston, TX.