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East Carolina's Johnson Named to Butkus Award Watch List

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East Carolina's Johnson Named to Butkus Award Watch List

Photo ECU Athletics

East Carolina senior Derrell Johnson is one of 51 linebackers named to the 2013 Butkus Award Watch List, according to an announcement by the Butkus Foundation Monday.

Johnson, who has garnered preseason First-Team All-Conference USA honors by Athlon Sports and Phil Steele’s College Football Preview Magazine along with being included on the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Watch List (top 40 linebackers at the FBS level), is the first Pirate to be named to the watch list since Chris Moore in 2004 and 2005.

Last year Johnson led all ECU defenders in sacks, tackles for lost yardage, fumble recoveries and quarterback pressures on his way to second-team all-league accolades. He stood among the league's top 10 with 7.0 sacks and netted 11.0 overall stops behind the line of scrimmage while starting all 13 contests. In addition, the Baltimore prep product was credited with a pair of fumble recoveries, keyed a pass rush with eight pressures and logged 62 total tackles - 27 solo.

During his three-year career, which began as an end in ECU's former 4-3 scheme during his freshman campaign in 2010, Johnson has tallied 141 stops. He will open the 2013 season with a streak of 36-straight starts and a run of 25 consecutive contests with at least one tackle.

The Butkus Award honors the now-retired professional jersey number of Dick Butkus, who is regarded by NFL Films as the best defensive player in football history. The selection panel is comprised of 51 coaches, evaluators and journalists. Semi-finalists will be named October 28, finalists November 26, and winners will be notified on or before December 10.

The Collegiate Butkus Award watch list includes 51 candidates from 37 universities.

The Butkus Award was expanded in 2008 to honor linebackers at three levels while helping spread the word about Butkus’ I Play Clean™ initiative which encourages teens to eat well, train hard, and play with attitude instead of resorting to steroids and related drugs.  More information is available at www.iplayclean.org or at www.facebook.com/i.play.clean.

The Butkus Award, www.thebutkusaward.com or www.facebook.com/51.butkus, is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization. The Butkus Award is part of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which includes the 21 most prestigious awards in college football with 678 years of selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org for more information.
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Re: East Carolina's Johnson Named to Butkus Award Watch List

Just a thought but I think you should HAVE to wear No. 51 to win that award! Dick Butkus, the best and nastiest MLB EVER!
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