Three Irish named to Butkus Award Watch List

The Notre Dame defense just keeps piling up the preseason praise. On Tuesday, three members of the Irish's linebacking corps were named to the 2013 Butkus Award Watch List.

Three Notre Dame linebackers were named to the 2013 Butkus Award Watch List on Tuesday, tied for the most of any college on the list.

Prince Shembo, Dan Fox, and Carlo Calabrese were all named to the 51-player list. The Butkus Award is given to college football's best linebacker every season.

Shembo, a senior, started all 13 games for the Irish in 2012, tallying a career-high 51 tackles on the year. He leads all active Notre Dame players with 19 tackles for loss in his career, and he is tied with junior defensive end Stephon Tuitt for most sacks (14.0) among current Notre Dame players. Shembo was also named to the watch lists for the 2013 Lombardi Award and the 2013 Bednarik Award.

Fox and Calabrese are both fifth-year seniors, looking to anchor the Irish's strong defensive front seven.

Calabrese played in 12 games last season, starting five of those contests. He tallied 49 tackles and three tackles for loss.

Fox played in all 13 games in 2012, starting nine. He recorded 63 tackles on the season, two tackles for loss and one sack.

The Irish tied with Iowa, UCLA, and 2013 opponent BYU for the most selections on the list. The Cougars also boasted three seniors to watch: Spencer Hadley, Uani Unga, and Kyle Van Noy.

Other 2013 Notre Dame opponents on the list include Michigan State's Max Bullough, USC's Hayes Pullard, Arizona State's Carl Bradford and Chris Young, and Stanford's Trent Murphy and Shayne Skov.

Former Irish linebacker Manti Te'o won the 2012 Butkus Award on the collegiate level. Te'o also won the high school Butkus Award in 2008. Notre Dame freshman linebacker Jaylon Smith won the high school version of the award last season. Top Stories