2016 Butkus Award finalists announced

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Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster was among the five finalists named for the 2016 Butkus Award on Monday morning. The Butkus Award is presented annually to the nation’s top linebacker.

Foster is the unquestioned defensive leader of the top-ranked Crimson Tide, who boast the nation’s No. 2 defense.

Joining Foster as finalists are LSU’s Kendell Beckwith, Vanderbilt’s Zach Cunningham, Florida’s Jarrad Davis and Iowa’s Josey Jewell.

Two of the last three winners of the Butkus Award have been Alabama linebackers, so if Foster, who leads the team in tackles with 75, is to win the award he would be carrying on a Crimson Tide tradition.

The winner will be announced on or before December 6.

Selection is handled by a panel of 51 coaches, recruiters, scouts and journalists who vote separately and confidentially using a 3-2-1 process. Selectors and selection criteria are posted at www.thebutkusaward.com.

The Butkus Award® is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization. In addition to honoring top linebackers, the Butkus Award helps spread the word about the I Play Clean™ initiative which encourages teens to eat well, train hard, and play with attitude instead of resorting to performance-enhancing drugs. The Butkus Award is part of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which includes the 22 most prestigious awards in college football with 722 years of selection excellence.

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