Johnson, Mosley On Butkus List

One didn't have to be Kreskin the mind-reader to expect that a couple of Alabama linebackers who had been on the watch lists for the Bednarik Award, given to the nation's best college linebacker, and the Bronko Nagurski Award, given to the best defender, would be on the Butkus Watch List.

So it was no surprise that the Butkus Award Watch List included two Alabama linebackers, senior Nico Johnson and junior C.J. Mosley. The Butkus Award is also presented to the nation's top linebacker.

There are 51 on the watch list (Butkus was number 51 in his spectacular playing career at Illinois and for the Chicago Bears).

Two Alabama players have won the award previously, Derrick Thomas in 1988 and Rolando McClain in 2009. The award has been presented since 1985.

The most interesting thing about the selections of Johnson and Mosley for the initial Butkus Watch List is that the two play the same inside linebacker position, weakside, or Will.

Johnson (6-3, 245 from Andalusia) had 47 tackles (25 unassisted) in 2011, ranking fourth on the nation's best defense for the national champion Crimson Tide. He was in on seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

Mosley (6-2, 232 from Theodore) had 17 primary tackles and 20 assists, ranking seventh, and was in on five sacks. He also had a critical interception in Bama's 21-0 win over LSU in the BCS National Championship Game. Mosley suffered a dislocated hip in that game, but was back in action during spring practice.

Semi-finalists will be named October 22, finalists November 20, and winners will be notified on or before December 4. The Professional Butkus Award winner will be announced in January 2013. Winners will be featured in a television special a week before the Super Bowl

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