CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - November 23, 2010) - Finalists for the 26th annual collegiate and high school Butkus Award® honoring the nation's top football linebackers were announced today by the Butkus Foundation.

Finalists were selected by a panel of 51 coaches, scouts and journalists supervised by Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly who follow all applicable rules of their leagues. Winners will be announced between December 5-8. Finalists for 2010 include (alphabetically):

Butkus Award Collegiate Finalists:

  • Akeem Ayers, UCLA
  • Bruce Carter, North Carolina
  • Justin Houston, Georgia
  • Luke Kuechly, Boston College
  • Von Miller, Texas A&M

Butkus Award High School Finalists:

  • Stephone Anthony, Anson High, Wadesboro, NC
  • Shannon Brown, Cook County High, Adel, GA
  • Curtis Grant, Hermitage High, Richmond, VA
  • Tony Steward, Pedro Menendez High, St. Augustine, FL
  • Lawrence Thomas, Renaissance High, Detroit, MI

Butkus wants the Butkus Award® to draw attention to the I Play Clean™ campaign, which aims to end steroid use in organized sports. He encourages past and current athletes, coaches and fans to pledge their support at That campaign is presented by Old Spice, and receives sports nutrition support from Abbott Nutrition's EAS brand.

Butkus Award winners in 2009 included Patrick Willis of the San Francisco 49ers and the first person to win both the collegiate and pro award, Rolando McClain of Alabama (now Oakland Raiders), and Jordan Hicks of Lakota West High School near Cincinnati (now University of Texas).

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. Meanwhile, his son Matt was a defensive lineman for the University of Southern California, and joins his father in philanthropic efforts. More information is 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:

Ron Arp