CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Oct 27, 2014) -  Leading candidates for the 30th annual Butkus Award® honoring the nation's best linebackers at the collegiate and high school levels were revealed today by the Butkus Foundation.

Fifteen linebackers from 12 institutions were named as collegiate semi-finalists, including 2013 collegiate semifinalist Denzel Perryman of Miami, 2012 high school Butkus winner Jaylon Smith of Notre Dame and 2010 high school Butkus runner-up Stephone Anthony of Clemson.

Butkus Award 2014 Collegiate Semi-Finalists
Stephone Anthony Clemson University
Myles Jack University of California Los Angeles
Jordan Jenkins University of Georgia
A.J. Johnson University of Tennessee
Eric Kendricks University of California Los Angeles
Hau'oli Kikaha University of Washington
Benardrick McKinney Mississippi State University
Denzel Perryman University of Miami (Fla.)
Hayes Pullard University of Southern California
Reggie Ragland University of Alabama
Jake Ryan University of Michigan
Jaylon Smith University of Notre Dame
Eric Striker University of Oklahoma
Shaq Thompson University of Washington
Ramik Wilson University of Georgia

Fifteen linebackers from high schools in ten states were named as high school semi-finalists.

Butkus Award 2014 High School Semi-Finalists  
Jerome Baker Benedictine High School Cleveland, OH
Josh Barajas Andrean High School Merrillville, IN
Mekhi Brown GW Carver High School Columbus, GA
Ricky DeBerry Atlee High School Mechanicsville, VA
Porter Gustin Salem Hills High School Salem, UT
Justin Hilliard St. Xavier High School Cincinnati, OH
Jeffery Holland Trinity Christian Academy Jacksonville, FL
John Houston Junipero Serra High School Gardena, CA
Malik Jefferson Ralph H. Poteet High School Mesquite, TX
Leo Lewis Brookhaven High School Brookhaven, MS
Osa Masina Brighton High School Salt Lake City, UT
Joshua McMillon Whitehaven High School Memphis, TN
Sherrod Pittman First Coast High School Jacksonville, FL
Jahvoni Simmons Ocean Lakes High School Virginia Beach, VA
Adonis Thomas Central Gwinnett High School Lawrenceville, GA

Finalists for both the collegiate and high school levels will be named November 24 and winners by December 9, by the independent panel of 51 recruiters, scouts, coaches and journalists. A professional Butkus Award honoree will be named in early 2015. 

2013 Butkus Award winners:

  • Professional: NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco 49ers
  • Collegiate: C.J. Mosley, Alabama (now Baltimore Ravens)
  • High School: Raekwon McMillan, Liberty County, Ga. (now Ohio State)

Created in 1985, the Butkus Award was expanded in 2008 to honor linebackers at three levels while spreading the word about Butkus' I Play Clean™ initiative which encourages teens to eat well, train hard, and play with attitude instead of using performance-enhancing drugs. More information is available at and on facebook at

The Butkus Award, and on facebook at 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 for more information.

Contact Information:

Ron Arp