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Simpson Named to Butkus Award Watch List



ORLANDO, Fla. -- University of Alabama senior linebacker Juwan Simpson (Decatur) has been named to the 2006 Butkus Award watch list, according to an announcement Thursday by The Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, Inc. (DACO), the organization which annually presents the prestigious award to the nation's best collegiate linebacker.

Simpson played in all 12 games last season and recorded 64 tackles for the Crimson Tide.  He added six tackles for loss (-23) and 1 1/2 sacks (-18).  He also recorded four quarterback pressures and two interceptions.  Overall, he has played in 34 career games for Alabama and has logged 157 tackles, including 12 TFLs (-12) and four sacks (-43), with 10 pressures, four pass break ups, three fumble recoveries, two interceptions and one forced fumble.

Derrick Thomas, who earned First-Team All-America honors with 88 tackles during his senior season, won the Butkus Award in 1988.

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.