Arizona State junior linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been a
target of both local and national media for what is
perceived as lackluster play in 2011.
That didn’t stop the folks who hand out The Butkus Award
to the nation’s top linebacker, who today included Burfict
on their list of twelve semifinalists for the hardware.
Burfict has registered 36 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 4
sacks and an interception for the 5-2 Sun Devils. Burfict
is the only semifinalist from the Pac-12.
The Butkus Award was first presented in 1985 in the
collegiate ranks. No Arizona State player has ever won
Other semifinalists for the 2011 Butkus Award are: Zach
Brown (North Carolina), Audie Cole (North Carolina State),
Lavonte David (Nebraska), Dont’a Hightower (Alabama), Jarvis
Jones (Georgia), Luke Kuechly (Boston College), Travis Lewis
(Oklahoma), Keenan Robinson (Texas), Sean Spence (Miami,
FL), Manti Te’o (Notre Dame), Courtney Upshaw (Alabama)