Mountain West Football: Five Named To 2019 Butkus Award Watch List
The list of those in the running to be college football’s best linebacker includes five from the Mountain West.
Linebacker is stacked in the Mountain West.
Watch list season continued today with the release of the Butkus Award’s list of players to follow. Given annually to the nation’s best linebacker, there are five athletes from the Mountain West, among 51 in all, and any one of them could be a dark horse to bring the honor home.
San Diego State’s Kyahva Tezino broke out in 2018 as the latest disruptive Aztec linebacker, leading the team with 14.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks. He’ll be counted upon to repeat those numbers for a reloading front in Rocky Long’s defense.
Logan Wilson has been playing like a top linebacker longer than just about anyone in the Mountain West at this point, and he figures to once again play a huge role for the Wyoming Cowboys. Last fall, he paced the Pokes with 103 total tackles and finished with 11 tackles for loss, two sacks, and two interceptions.
David Woodward helped anchor the middle of the Utah State defense and was named Pro Football Focus’s Mountain West Player of the Year for his efforts. He led the conference in 2018 with 134 total tackles and also had 12.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions.
Mykal Walker made a move from defensive end to middle linebacker over the off-season, but it’s not hard to see why he might have an impact at his new old position. Last fall, he led the Fresno State Bulldogs with 14 tackles for loss while also contributing 4.5 sacks, six passes defended and two forced fumbles.
UNLV linebacker Javin White might seem like a surprise entry at first glance, but he did a little bit of everything for the Rebels last fall. He finished the year with two sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss, but he also had four interceptions and four forced fumbles, cementing himself as one of the conference’s most underrated defenders.
Last year’s Butkus Award winner was former LSU linebacker Devin White.