BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Indiana senior linebacker Micah McFadden secured a spot on the Butkus Award Watch List, it was announced on Monday morning. McFadden is also on the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List.
The Butkus Award honors the nation’s best linebackers. The list contains 51 linebackers, mirroring the legendary “51” pro jersey associated with the Award’s namesake Dick Butkus, who was recognized by NFL Films as the best defensive player in football history.
Semifinalists are expected to be named Nov. 1, finalists Nov. 22, and winners on or before Dec. 7. Appearing on the watch list is not a requirement to win the award.
McFadden collected second-team All-America honors from Phil Steele and third-team accolades from the Associated Press in 2020. A first-team All-Big Ten honoree (coaches, media), McFadden was named IU’s Anthony Thompson Most Valuable Player along with quarterback Michael Penix Jr.
He led the team with 58 tackles, 44 solos, six sacks (31 yards), and 10.5 for loss (39 yards), while he shared second with three quarterback hurries, and finished fourth with two interceptions. McFadden topped the Big Ten in sacks, the first Hoosier to do so since Greg Middleton (2007), tied for second in solo stops, shared third in TFLs, and tied for eighth in INTs.
After the Hoosiers win at No. 16 Wisconsin, he carded Walter Camp National Player of the Week and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week laurels. A team captain, McFadden recorded a game-high nine tackles with a pair of sacks in the program’s first victory in Madison since 2001.
Formed in 1985, the Butkus Award honors linebackers at three levels while supporting causes important to the Butkus family. Causes include Butkus Takes Heart™ initiative encouraging early cardiovascular screening among adults, and the I Play Clean® initiative encouraging athletes to train naturally without performance-enhancing drugs.
The Butkus Award is partnering with Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage to celebrate Butkus Award winners. The event is scheduled Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. Contact the Butkus Foundation for ticket and sponsorship information.
The Butkus Award® is presented by the Butkus Foundation and selected by a 51-member expert panel of coaches, scouts and journalists. The award is part of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. NCFAA’s 25 awards have honored more than 800 recipients since 1935. Visit www.NCFAA.org for more information.
Indiana Football 2021 Preseason Watch Lists
Dodd Trophy – Tom Allen
Maxwell Award – Ty Fryfogle, Michael Penix Jr.
Bednarik Award – Micah McFadden, Tiawan Mullen
Davey O’Brien Award – Michael Penix Jr.
Doak Walker Award – Stephen Carr
B1G Preseason Honors – Michael Penix Jr.
Biletnikoff Award – Ty Fryfogle
John Mackey Award – Peyton Hendershot
Jim Thorpe Award – Tiawan Mullen
Butkus Award – Micah McFadden