Sunday, May 25, 2014

Manti Te'o and the Butkus Award: Three Time Winner?

Butkus Award
Dick Butkus was one of the most intimidating players of all time and one of the most fun to watch. At the snap of the ball, he attacked the opposing team and clawed at anyone in his way in a frenzied pursuit of running backs and quarterbacks. He epitomizes so much of what it means to play Chicago Bear football. Butkus was an eight-time Pro Bowler inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.

The Butkus Award  has honored top college linebackers since 1985. It was expanded in 2008 to include the high school and professional level.  Named in honor of the Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus, the award is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports a number of health and wellness activities.  

Manti Te’o won the Butkus Award for the high school level award in 2008 playing for Punahou High School in Hawaii and then went on to win the college level recognition in 2012 while playing for the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame squad.  Te’o was drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers.

Te’o had a difficult rookie season after sustaining a foot injury in the preseason.  He had surgery in the off-season.  He has a long way to go to reach the top of the professional line-backing corps right now, but it is possible that in time Te’o could win his third Butkus Award. 

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