Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Linebacker Courtney Watson Named A Semifinalist For The Butkus Award

Oct. 17, 2002

Notre Dame, Ind. – Notre Dame senior linebacker Courtney Watson has been named one of 11 semifinalists for the 2002 Butkus Award named in honor of the former Illinois and Chicago Bears football great Dick Butkus and is given to the nation’s outstanding collegiate linebacker.

Despite missing the first two games of the season with a viral infection, Watson has come back with a vengeance in 2002. The native of Sarasota, Fla., leads the Irish with 44 total tackles, including 29 solos in only four games this season. Watson also has two sacks, five tackles for loss and one interception return for a touchdown against Stanford.

The Butkus Award semifinal list is determined by confidential balloting of the 29-member Butkus Award Selection Committee, comprised of the nation’s foremost media members. The Selection Committee made their selections from the initial Butkus Award? Watch List of 67 college linebackers, which was announced on August 22, 2002. The finalists for the award will be announced Nov. 14, with the recipient of the award honored on Dec. 13.

These are the 11 finalists for the 2002 Butkus Award:

Boss Bailey, Georgia
Michael Boulware, Florida State
Rod Davis, Southern Miss
E.J. Henderson, Maryland
Bradie James, LSU
Derrick Johnson, Texas
Teddy Lehman, Oklahoma
Jonathan Vilma, Miami (FL)
Courtney Watson, Notre Dame
Matt Wilhelm Ohio State
D.J. Williams Miami (FL)