ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

ASU’s Merlin Robertson named to Butkus Award watch list

Jul 25, 2022, 12:07 PM | Updated: 1:27 pm

Arizona State Sun Devils linebacker Merlin Robertson (8) during the college football game between t...

Arizona State Sun Devils linebacker Merlin Robertson (8) during the college football game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and the UCLA Bruins on October 02, 2021, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With former Arizona State linebacker Eric Gentry transferring to USC, the Sun Devils will call on another experienced defender to lead the linebacking corps this season.

Merlin Robertson will look to do just that as he enters his fifth season in a Sun Devils uniform.

Robertson was named to the Butkus Award watch list for the third time in his career Monday morning.

The award is named after Illinois’ two-time All-American linebacker Dick Butkus and given to the nation’s best collegiate linebacker.

While appearing in 12 games last season, Robertson recorded 64 tackles as well as a career-high and team-leading three interceptions.

Robertson was an All-Pac-12 honorable mention following his 2021 campaign.

According to Pro Football Focus, Robertson finished as the sixth-highest graded Pac-12 linebacker during the 2021 season.

Since entering the program in 2018, the fifth-year senior has been nothing short of a tackle machine.

In 2018, he was named the Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year while leading the Sun Devils in sacks, tackles and tackles for loss.

Robertson has accumulated 237 total tackles during his time at Arizona State.

With a young and inexperienced linebacking core, Kyle Soelle and Robertson will look to anchor the Sun Devil defense.

Robertson will look to become the first Sun Devil to ever win the prestigious award.

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