Kentucky senior Avery Williamson has been named to the Butkus Award Preseason Watch List for the nation's top linebacker.
The 6-foot-1, 241-pound Williamson finished second in the Southeastern Conference and seventh nationally in tackles last season with 135 stops. He also had 4.5 tackles for loss, four pass break-ups, two forced fumbles and one interception.
The preseason watch list includes 51 players from 37 schools vying for the award which honors NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus. The number of preseason honorees represents the jersey number Butkus wore during his career.
C.J. Mosley of Alabama is the only returning finalist, along with semifinalists Jonathan Brown of Illinois, Max Bullough of Michigan State and Trent Murphy of Stanford. Williamson is one of nine SEC players on the prestigious list.
A native of Milan, Tenn., Williamson had eight double-digit tackle games last season, including a 20-tackle performance against Vanderbilt. He had a streak of four games with 13 or more tackles, becoming the first Wildcat to accomplish the feat since Randy Holleran in 1990.
Williamson on Butkus Award watch list
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