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UB's Khalil Hodge named to Butkus Award watch list


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- University at Buffalo senior linebacker Khalil Hodge was named to the preseason watch list for the Butkus Award – given annually to the nation's top linebacker. Hodge is the just the second UB player to make the list, joining former All-American Khalil Mack who was named to the list in 2013.
The watch 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. Hodge was the only player from the Mid-American Conference to be named the list.
Hodge, who was also named to the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list, is a two-time All-MAC selection. He totaled more tackles (277) than any other player in the nation over the last two seasons. In 2017, he racked up a MAC-best 154 stops, the most ever by a UB player in its FBS era. He ranked second in the nation in tackles in 2017.
The Collegiate Butkus Award watch list includes candidates from 41 universities, including returning finalists Devin Bush of Michigan and T.J. Edwards of Wisconsin, and returning semi-finalists Josh Allen of Kentucky and Cameron Smith of USC. Also making the watch list are past national high school Butkus Award winners Caleb Kelly (2015) of Oklahoma and Dylan Moses (2016) of Alabama.
Formed in 1985, the Butkus Award was expanded in 2008 to honor linebackers at three levels while helping spread the word about Butkus' I Play Clean® initiative which encourages teens to eat well, train hard, and play with attitude without resorting to performance-enhancing drugs.
The Butkus Award, www.thebutkusaward.com and on Facebook at 51.butkus, is presented by the nonprofit Butkus Foundation. Selectors and selection criteria is located on the official website. Search social media for #butkusaward2018.
The Butkus Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses college football's most prestigious awards. Its member-awards have honored more than 800 since 1935. Visit www.NCFAA.org for more information.
Buffalo Players on 2018 NCFAA Watch Lists
Bednarik Award: Khalil Hodge
Maxwell Award: Anthony Johnson
Davey O'Brien Award: Tyree Jackson
Doak Walker AwardEmmanuel Reed
Biletnikoff Award: Anthony Johnson
John Mackey Award: Tyler Mabry
Butkus Award: Khalil Hodge

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