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Ryans Named a Semi-Finalist for Butkus Award


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Crimson Tide senior linebacker DeMeco Ryans has been named a semi-finalist for the prestigious Butkus Award as announced by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, Inc. this morning.

Ryans is one of 10 semi-finalists for the prestigious award which is given annually to the best collegiate linebacker.

A four-year starter at linebacker for the Crimson Tide, Ryans has played in all 44 games in his career.  In 44 career games, he has recorded 272 tackles, with 26 TFLs (-83) and 5 sacks (-42). He has 272 career tackles and is currently 8th all-time at Alabama and he is second among active SEC defenders with 272 career tackles.

Ryans currently leads the team in tackles with 41.  He's tied for the team high in tackles for a loss with 7.5 (-44).  He's also recorded 3.5 sacks (-31), two pass breakups; two quarterback pressures, forced a fumble and recovered another fumble.

Ryans has been honored once this year as the Southeastern Conference's Defensive Player of the Week after his performance against Arkansas on September 24 (15 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 sack, 1 FR, 1 QBP).

A standout student, Ryans will graduate this December in just seven semesters. He is a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection and a 2004 Academic All-America selection. He has also been twice named the captain of the "High Tide" Club, which is awarded by head coach Mike Shula and UA Director of Academics Jon Dever. The members of the "High Tide" Club are selected based on the highest grade point averages on the football squad.

The 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 10.  The winner will be announced Saturday, December 10, 2005 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 independent Butkus Award Selection Committee for the 2005 Butkus Award, comprised of the nation's foremost national media members, is solely responsible for all voting in the selection process.  Selection Committee members have been evaluating the candidates since the beginning of the season and will continue their review throughout the entire football season.

Voting for the three Butkus Award finalists and the Butkus Award winner will be conducted by confidential ballots of the Butkus Award 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: 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.