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.
- 2015 Heisman Trophy tracker, preseason...
- High school football roundup for Friday, Aug. 28
- The Utah football 100: Ranking the best...
- BYU football: With opener one week away,...
- BYU football: Ranking the most important...
- Video: BYU commit Jaren Hall lifts Maple...
- BYU football position preview: The...
- BYU football: A look at the Cougars'...
- Morning links: Cougars, Utes to face... 78
- Guest commentary: How to spice up BYU... 61
- BYU football: Lone Peak's Jackson... 32
- New York Jets waive former BYU... 30
- Dick Harmon: BYU Cougars find new... 28
- Morning links: Utes are the Pac-12's 'X... 27
- Guest commentary: BYU, Utah, USU... 25
- Doug Robinson: No days off on Utes'... 25