BYU football: Kyle Van Noy, Spencer Hadley and Uani Unga on Butkus award watch list
Tom Smart, Deseret News
PROVO — BYU is quickly becoming linebacker U.
Three Cougars were named to the Butkus Award preseason watch list today. UCLA is the only other school that has that many included in the selection process to honor the nation's best linebackers.
BYU seniors Kyle Van Noy, Spencer Hadley and Uani Unga earned selection to highlight a strong linebacking corp for the Cougars heading into the 2013 season. UCLA picks included Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks and Jordan Zumwalt.
BYU's Van Noy returns for his final season after an All-American campaign in 2012, finishing tied for second in the nation in sacks (13) and forced fumbles (6) and ranking No. 4 in tackles for loss (22). Hadley started opposite Van Noy at the strong-side position, adding nine tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks, while 'Unga became a strong contributor at middle linebacker for BYU after transferring from Oregon State, helping the Cougars rank No. 3 overall in total defense in 2012.
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.
Along with Hadley and Unga, BYU now has six players on preseason college football award watch lists.
- Sorensen: Rare for both BYU and Utah to be...
- BYU football: A look at the Cougars' schedule...
- BYU moves up one spot in AP poll, heads into...
- BYU moves up to No. 20/21 in the AP and...
- The photos from the seats and the sideline...
- Utah football notes: Paul makes quite a splash
- Sunday morning quarterback: Stars and stats...
- BYU football report card: Special teams...
- Utes leave the Big House with a large... 138
- BYU moves up to No. 20/21 in the AP and... 89
- Brad Rock: LaVell, McBride not OK with... 76
- Sorensen: Rare for both BYU and Utah to... 66
- Big plays lift No. 21 BYU past Virginia 52
- Utah football enemy camp: 5 questions... 46
- Go long? So far, deep passes not a big... 40
- Dick Harmon: Utes, Aggies, Cougars have... 33