Aug. 28, 2000

Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame senior inside linebacker Anthony Denman (Rusk, Texas) is one of 70 candidates for the 2000 Butkus Award presented by Cooper Tire. The award is given annually to the nation’s best collegiate linebacker by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando.

The 6-2, 235-pounder led the Irish with 59 solo tackles a season ago and also had three fumble recoveries. Denman was Notre Dame’s leading tackler in six games a year ago. Denman was a member of Football News’ all-Independent team last year and was named NBC Sports/Chevrolet Notre Dame MVP for his efforts against Michigan State.

The independent selection committee, comprised of 28 of the nation’s foremost media members, begins reviewing the candidates this week and more players may be added to the watch list. The committee will select 10 semifinalists on Oct. 19. Subsequently, the three finalists will be announced on Nov. 9, at Spectator’s Sports Bar at the Downtown Marriott Orlando. The 2000 Butkus Award winner will be announced Friday, Dec. 8, during the Butkus Award Gala at Hard Rock Live at Universal Studios CityWalk.

Last season, former Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington won the award before becoming the second selection in the NFL draft. Former Butkus Award winners include Trev Alberts (1993-Nebraska), Percy Snow (1989-Michigan State) and Derrick Thomas (1988-Alabama).

Denman joins an impressive list of candidates from around the country including North Carolina’s Brandon Spoon, who is the first player in the 16-year history of the Butkus Award to be named to the watch list four years in a row. Miami’s Dan Morgan and Virginia’s Byron Thweatt are both on the watch list for the third time their careers.

2000 Butkus Award Watch List

Keith Adams, ClemsonBrian Allen, Florida StateAdam Archulta, Arizona StateAkin Ayodele, PurdueBoss Bailey, GeorgiaKendrell Bell, GeorgiaKevin Bentley, NorthwesternEric Brackins, MichiganShannon Brazell, TCURocky Calmus, OklahomaQuenton Carver, ArkansasPatrick Chukwurah, WyomingRick Crowell, Colorado StateDerrell Daniels, WashingtonAndra Davis, FloridaAnthony Denman, Notre DameJustin Ena, BYUTreverance Faulk, LSULarry Foote, MichiganJason Glenn, Texas A&MRyan Gonsales, PittsburghMorlon Greenwood, SyracusePernell Griffin, East CarolinaSean Hoffman, MinnesotaOrlando Huff, Fresno StateBradie James, LSURiall Johnson, StanfordBen Leber, Kansas StateDe'Andre Lewis, TexasJason Loezel, PurdueVassay Marc, South FloridaTorrence Marshall, OklahomaBen Mezera, MinnesotaMarion Moore, MarylandZeke Moreno, USCDan Morgan, MiamiRyan Nece, UCLAKautai Oleavo, UtahBrent Passay, Utah StateJeremiah Pharms, WashingtonJerry Phillips, TulaneKenny Philpott, Eastern MichiganCarlos Polk, NebraskaTommy Polley, Florida StateSaleem Rasheed, AlabamaDarnell Robinson, Oregon StateJamonte Robinson, MissouriWayne Rogers, HoustonKevin Rollins, ToledoCameron Saulsby, Northern IllinoisKamal Shakir, MemphisTim Skipper, Fresno StateJustin Smith, IndianaMatt Smith, OregonBrandon Spoon, North CarolinaMarkus Steele, USCEddie Strong, MississippiTaylor Suman, TempleJashon Sykes, ColoradoLeVar Talley, TempleBen Taylor, Virginia TechRobert Thomas, UCLAByron Thweatt, VirginiaTJ Turner, Michigan StateLyle Weaver, ArmyEric Westmoreland, TennesseeClayton White, NC StateJamie Winborn, VanderbiltMax Yates, MarshallMichael Young, Illinois