Spence, Sharpton on Butkus Watch List

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – University of Miami linebackers Darryl Sharpton and Sean Spence have been named to the preseason watch list for the 2009 Dick Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker.

Sharpton, Spence Named to Butkus Award Watch List Two Hurricane linebackers are among 35 linebackers up for national award. Eight Atlantic Coast Conference linebackers are among the 35 selected to the initial watch list. In addition to Sharpton and Spence, Bruce Carter (North Carolina), Kavell Conner (Clemson), Quan Sturdivant (North Carolina), Dekoda Watson (Florida State), Nate Irving (NC State) and Mike McLaughlin (Boston College) represent the ACC.

Spence is Miami's top tackler returning in 2009. He was selected the 2008 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year and was a Freshman All-American. He totaled 65 tackles with a team-high 9.5 tackles for loss while adding two sacks and an interception.

Sharpton started 10 of 13 games for the Hurricanes last season and is the second-leading tackler returning in 2009. He recorded 58 tackles, six tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He has started 20 of 39 career games and has 156 career tackles.

Official nominees for the Butkus Award collegiate and high school trophies will be named October 15, at a Butkus Charity Fight Night at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Chicago. Finalists will be named November 19 and winners will be named on or before December 8.

The Butkus Award includes high school, collegiate and professional categories, all which are selected by a 51-person panel coordinated by Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly. The panel includes the nation's most respected coaches, general managers, talent evaluators, scouts and media. Certain selectors are not allowed to have contact with certain candidates.

The Butkus Award is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization. Dick Butkus was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979, following an illustrious career with the Chicago Bears, University of Illinois and Chicago Vocational School.

The Butkus Award is part of the National College Football Awards Association, a coalition of the major collegiate awards. More information on the Butkus Award can be found at www.thebutkusaward.com.

2009 Butkus Award Watch List
Pat Angerer, Iowa
Navorro Bowman, Penn State
Bruce Carter, North Carolina
Jamar Chaney, Mississippi
Justin Cole, San Jose State
Kavell Conner, Clemson
Rennie Curran, Georgia
Ryan D'Imperio, Rutgers
A.J. Edds, Iowa
Obi Ezeh, Michigan
Chris Galippo, USC
Darryl Gamble, Georgia
Dont'a Hightower, Alabama
Nate Irving, North Carolina State
Micah Johnson, Kentucky
Greg Jones, Michigan State
Sean Lee, Penn State
Travis Lewis, Oklahoma
Rolando McClain, Alabama
Mike McLaughlin, Boston College
Rod Muckelroy, Texas
Eric Norwood, South Carolina
Joe Pawelek, Baylor
Ryan Reynolds, Oklahoma
Perry Riley, LSU
Darryl Sharpton, Miami (Fla.)
Malcolm Smith, USC
Sean Spence, Miami (Fla.)
Brandon Spikes, Florida
Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina
Daryl Washington, TCU
Dekoda Watson, Florida State
Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
Kion Wilson, South Florida
Martez Wilson, Illinois

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