CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - November 19, 2009) - Finalists were named today for the 25th Annual Butkus Award® honoring the nation's top football linebackers.

The five Butkus Award collegiate finalists include three candidates from the SEC conference and two from the Big 12 conference:

--  Rolando McClain, Alabama
--  Sergia Kindle, Texas
--  Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
--  Brandon Spikes, Florida
--  Eric Norwood, South Carolina

McClain, Weatherspoon and Spikes were finalists in 2008.

The five Butkus Award high school finalists are as follows:

--  Khairi Fortt, Stamford - Stamford, Conn.
--  Jordan Hicks, Lakota West - West Chester, Ohio
--  Dakota Royer, Manheim Central - Lancaster, Pa.
--  Hayes Pullard, Crenshaw - Los Angeles, Calif.
--  Jeff Luc, Treasure Coast - Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Winners in both categories are expected to be announced on or before December 8, 2009. Meanwhile, a professional Butkus Award winner will be selected later in the season. More information is available at

The Butkus Award is selected by a 51-person panel comprised mostly of scouts, coaches and journalists, and coordinated by Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly. Selectors follow all rules of their leagues. Individual votes remain completely confidential.

The Butkus Award is named after Dick Butkus, who is considered one of the greatest football players in history. Butkus was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979, following an illustrious career with the Chicago Bears, University of Illinois and Chicago Vocational School. Butkus and his son Matt want the Award to draw attention to the I Play Clean™ campaign, which aims to end steroid use in organized sports. More information is available at

The Butkus Award is part of the National College Football Awards Association, a coalition of the major collegiate awards. More information is available at

Contact Information: Contact: Ron Arp Butkus Foundation 360.601.2991