Johnson Wins Butkus Award As Top LB

WLB Derrick Johnson is the 2004 Butkus Award winner, honoring the nation's top linebacker, it was announced in Orlando Friday.

Johnson is the first Longhorn recipient of the award, now in its 20th year. The sole returning finalist from last year's Butkus Award, Johnson beat USC's Matt Grootegoed and Virginia's Ahmad Brooks for the honor.

It's been a whirlwind, award-winning week for the senior All-American and it's not over yet. It began Monday in Charlotte, N.C., where Johnson became the first Texas player to win the Nagurski Trophy, presented since 1993, to the nation's top defender. Johnson departs this weekend for Newport Beach, California, for the inaugural Ronnie Lott Award, presented to the nation's best defensive player who also demonstrates leadership in the classroom and community. He was also named The Sporting News Defensive Player of the Year and Walter Camp First-Team All-American earlier this week.

He also grabbed several honors at the Longhorns annual football awards banquet Friday, including Most Valuable Defensive Player, Outstanding Linebacker and the first-ever Roy Williams/Joe Jamail Leadership Award.

Johnson was also a finalist for the Lombardi Trophy (top lineman or linebacker) and the Bednarik Award (top defensive player)

The 2003 consensus first-team All-American and two-time first-team All-Big 12 pick has posted 19 tackles for loss, 10 QB pressures, one interception, eight pass breakups and a UT single-season record eight caused fumbles (tied for first place on the NCAA all-time single-season list).

His 65 career TFL is a UT record, eclipsing the record that stood for 22 years (60, Kiki DeAyala, 1979-82). Johnson also has posted nine career interceptions, a Longhorn record for linebackers. His 30 career PBUs are a UT record for LBs while his 280 solo stops rank third on the Texas all-time list.

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