Aug. 24, 2006
HOUSTON, Texas - For the second time in his career, All-Conference USA outside linebacker Wade Koehl has been named to the Butkus Award Watch List, as announced on Thursday by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, Inc. (DACO).
A Third-Team, All-Conference USA performer a year ago, Koehl becomes the fourth Cougar to be honored on a preseason watch list, joining quarterback Kevin Kolb (Maxwell Award), center Sterling Doty (Rimington Award) and tackle SirVincent Rogers (Lombardi Award) on these prestigious listings.
Koehl has been a three-year starter for the Cougars and enters his senior season with Houston with 262 total tackles. Last season despite missing one game to injury, Koehl finished with 89 total tackles, including 14 for losses and four sacks. In 2004, Koehl was listed as a preseason Butkus Award Watch member and had a career-best 115 tackles. As a true freshman in 2003, Koehl was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman squad.
DACO is the organization that annually presents the prestigious Butkus Award® to the nation's best collegiate linebacker has announced the preliminary list of 65 candidates for this year's award. If 2005 Butkus Award® winner Paul Posluszny of Penn State repeats in 2006, he would become just the second linebacker to win the Butkus Award® twice in DACO's 22-year history. Posluszny would tie with Brian Bosworth of Oklahoma who won the Butkus Award® in 1985 and 1986 respectively.
The Butkus Award® Watch List will be trimmed to 10 semi-finalists on Thursday, October 19. That semi-finalist list will be cut down to three finalists which will be announced via a national teleconference with players, coaches, media members and Butkus Award® officials on Thursday, November 9. The winner will be announced Saturday, December 9, 2006 at the Butkus Award® Gala in Orlando, FL. The Butkus Award® will be presented to the winner by the award's namesake former University of Illinois and Chicago Bear NFL Hall of Fame member, Dick Butkus. The finalists, their coaches and families are invited to attend the Butkus Award® Gala festivities including a welcome reception, golf tournament and silent auction.
The independent Butkus Award® Selection Committee for the 2006 Butkus Award®, comprised of some of the nation's foremost journalists, is solely and exclusively responsible for all voting in the Butkus Award® selection process. Additional Watch List candidates may be added in the coming weeks due to outstanding in-season play. Voting for the three finalists and the Butkus Award® winner will be conducted by exclusive confidential ballots of the selection committee.
The Butkus Award ® is regarded as one of the most elite individual honors in college football. Past recipients include such outstanding linebackers as: Paul Posluszny (2005-Penn State); Derrick Johnson (2004-Texas) Teddy Lehman (2003-Oklahoma); E.J. Henderson (2002-Maryland); Rocky Calmus (2001-Oklahoma); Dan Morgan (2000-Miami (FL); LaVar Arrington (1999-Penn State); Chris Claiborne (1998-Southern California); Andy Katzenmoyer (1997-Ohio State); Matt Russell (1996 Colorado); Kevin Hardy (1995-Illinois); Dana Howard (1994-Illinois); Trev Alberts (1993-Nebraska); Marvin Jones (1992-Florida State); Erick Anderson (1991-Michigan); Alfred Williams (1990-Colorado); Percy Snow (1989-Michigan State); Derrick Thomas (1988-Alabama); Paul McGowan (1997-Florida State); and Brian Bosworth (1985 and 1986-Oklahoma). Created in 1985 by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando Inc., the Butkus Award® carries the name and support of one of the greatest middle linebackers in football history, Dick Butkus.