Leman Named to Butkus Watch List

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — University of Illinois junior linebacker J Leman has been named to the Butkus Award Watch List, as announced today by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando. A list of 65 preliminary candidates was released for the 22nd-annual award, given to the nation's top collegiate linebacker.

Leman begins his junior season as a third-year starter who has compiled 123 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 quarterback sacks in two seasons. He was named the team's Most Outstanding Linebacker in 2005 and was named to the freshman All-Big Ten team by The Sporting News in 2004.

The Butkus Award Watch List will be trimmed to 10 semi-finalists on Thursday, October 19. That semi-finalist list will be cut down to three finalists which will be announced via a national teleconference with players, coaches, media members and Butkus Award officials on Thursday, November 9. The winner will be announced Saturday, December 9, 2006 at the Butkus Award Gala in Orlando, Fla.

The Butkus Award will be presented to the winner by the award's namesake former University of Illinois and Chicago Bear NFL Hall of Fame member, Dick Butkus. The finalists, their coaches and families are invited to attend the Butkus Award Gala festivities including a welcome reception, golf tournament and silent auction.

Press release

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