Aug. 24, 2000
Orlando, Fla. - The Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando (DACO) selected today UCLA linebackers Ryan Nece and Robert Thomas among its list of candidates eligible for the 2000 Butkus Award, given annually to the top collegiate linebacker in the country.
Nece, a redshirt junior who is making his second appearance on the Watch List after being a candidate in 1999, started nine games at outside linebacker for the Bruins last season, finishing third on the team in tackles with 65. He was a first-team Freshman All-American in 1998.
Thomas, a junior middle linebacker, led the Bruins in tackles per game last season (8.5), while finishing second on the squad in total tackles with 68.
The Butkus Award Watch List, which consists of 70 candidates, will be trimmed down to 10 semifinalists in October, with three finalists named on November 9. The winner will be announced Friday, Dec. 8.