University of South Carolina “Super Senior” Sherrod Greene is one of 51 candidates named to the 38th annual Butkus Award Watch List, it was announced today. The Butkus Award honors the nation’s best linebacker.
The 51 candidates mirrors the legendary “51” pro jersey associated with the award’s namesake, Dick Butkus, who was recognized by NFL Films as the best defensive player in football history. The Butkus Award is focused on recognizing linebackers who consistently play off the ball on their feet in a two-point stance in traditional form.
Greene, a 6-1, 233-pounder from Rocky Mount, N.C., returns to Carolina for a sixth season after having both his 2020 and 2021 seasons cut short prematurely due to season-ending injuries. He has appeared in just four games over the past two seasons after logging 35 contests including 24 starts from 2017-19. He totaled a career-best 73 tackles as a sophomore in 2018 and collected 6.5 tackles for loss during the 2019 campaign.
The award semifinalists are expected to be named Oct. 31 with finalists to follow Nov. 21. The winner will be named on or before Dec. 7. Appearing on the watch list is not a requirement to win the award.
“I am always excited about seeing our great watch list players on the field,” said Butkus, the College and Pro Football Hall of Famer. “When an outstanding player receives the Butkus Award he will know two things: First, he is recognized as the best of the best linebackers in America; Second, and in the long run most important, he will understand this recognition brings a responsibility of giving back.”
Founded in 1985, the Butkus Award honors linebackers at three levels while supporting causes important to the Butkus family. Causes include Butkus Takes Heart initiative encouraging early cardiovascular screening among adults, and the I Play Clean® initiative encouraging athletes to train naturally without performance-enhancing drugs. A 51-member expert panel of coaches, scouts, and journalists guides the selection process. Past winners of the collegiate award include such greats as Patrick Willis, Von Miller, Luke Kuechly, Devin White, and many more.
COURTESY SOUTH CAROLINA ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS