Butkus is third major award to select Illini linebacker Jonathan Brown to preseason watch list
Jonathan Brown has found his name among the candidates for some elite defensive awards in July.
The trend continued Monday, with the Illinois senior linebacker included on the Butkus Award preseason watch list.
It’s the third such honor for the Memphis, Tenn., native after he was earlier selected to preseason watch lists for the Bednarik Award and the Nagurski Trophy.
Brown — who compiled 59 tackles in nine games last year — is one of 51 players named to the Butkus Award watch list. It is named for former Illinois standout Dick Butkus.
Brown was a Butkus Award semifinalist last season, a season marred by shoulder and leg injuries.
Semifinalists for the Butkus Award will be named Oct. 28, with finalists to be determined Nov. 26. The winner will be notified on or before Dec. 10.
Besides Brown, the Big Ten has six other linebackers on the Butkus Award watch list: Chris Borland of Wisconsin, Max Bullough of Michigan State, Glenn Carson of Penn State, Anthony Hitchens and James Morris of Iowa, and Ryan Shazier of Ohio State.