Beckwith, Riley Named Butkus Award Finalists
LSU Sports Interactive
CHICAGO -- LSU linebackers Darry Beckwith and Perry Riley are among 12 finalists for the 24th annual Butkus Award, one of the elite individual defensive honors in college football, the Butkus Foundation has announced.
Beckwith, a senior from Baton Rouge, registered 48 tackles on the season and has accumulated 186 tackles during his career. Beckwith has been a three-year starter at linebacker and holds 33 career starts at middle linebacker for the Tigers. He was a preseason first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection and heads into LSU’s bowl game with 11.5 tackles for loss in his career.
Riley, a junior from Ellenwood, Ga., is the Tigers’ starting buck linebacker. In 12 games this season, Riley has racked up 49 tackles, including six for losses with 1.5 sacks. He has three pass breakups to his credit, three quarterback hurries, one interception and one fumble recovery. His interception against Arkansas on Nov. 28 was the first by an LSU linebacker since Beckwith picked off a pass in the 2007 SEC Championship Game.
LSU was one of two schools to boast multiple 2008 Butkus Award finalists. Southern Cal’s Rey Maualuga and Brian Cushing were also recognized each as one of the 12 finalists.
The Butkus Award, named in honor of the legendary Dick Butkus, is presented annually to the top linebacker in college football. An independent Butkus Award Selection Committee, headed by Pro Football Weekly’s Hub Arkush and comprised of 51 experts including professional, college and high school scouts, and prominent sports journalists, conducted the selection process.
The winner is expected to be announced the week of December 8, and a professional honoree will be selected in early January. A celebration reception is planned for Jan. 13, 2009, in Chicago.
2008 Butkus Award Finalists
Rolando McClain, Alabama
Mark Herzlich, Boston College
Brandon Spikes, Florida
Rennie Curran, Georgia
Darry Beckwith, LSU
Perry Riley, LSU
Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
Rey Maualuga, USC
Brian Cushing, USC
Clint Sintim, Virginia
Aaron Curry, Wake Forest