Top linebacker recruits named semifinalists for 2023 Dick Butkus Award

On3 imageby:Keegan Pope11/06/23


A number of the nation’s top linebacker recruits in the 2024 class are in contention for one of football’s most prestigious positional honors, the Dick Butkus Award.

On Monday, 12 semifinalists were named, and nine different states are represented among the 12 high school prospects. The state of Virginia leading the way with three and Texas having a pair of semifinalists.

Georgia’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class was represented well, with three commits earn semifinalist nods: Conroe (Texas) Oak Ridge five-star Justin Williams, Salem (Va.) High four-star Chris Cole and Fairfax (Va.) High four-star Kris Jones.

Notre Dame saw two of its own commits make the list, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco four-star Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa and Roanoke (Va.) Patrick Henry three-star Bodie Kahoun.

Also featured among the dozen nominees are five-star Clemson commit Sammy Brown, four-star Florida commit Aaron Chiles, four-star Alabama commit Cayden Jones, four-star Ohio State commit Payton Pierce, Oregon four-star commit Brayden Platt, Auburn four-star commit Demarcus Riddick, and Iowa four-star commit Derek Weisskopf.

About the Dick Butkus Award

The Butkus Award was founded in 1985, honoring linebackers at three levels while supporting causes important to the Butkus family. The Butkus Foundation has presented high school and professional awards since 2008. A 51-member expert panel of coaches, scouts and journalists guides the award selection process.

Former winners of the high school award include Oregon linebacker and former Five-Star Plus+ recruit Justin Flowe, ex-Georgia star and Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Nakobe Dean and former Alabama star Dylan Moses. Notre Dame 2023 signee Drayk Bowen won the award last year after an outstanding senior season at Merrillville (Ind.) Andrean. In 14 games, he registered 144 total tackles (90 solo), 19 tackles for loss and five sacks.

The Butkus Award plans to release its list finalists on Nov. 21, and a winner will be announced December 7.