Oct. 19, 2000
Orlando, FL -- - The Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, Inc. (DACO) has announced that UCLA's Robert Thomas is one of 11 semi-finalists for this year's Butkus Award®, which is awarded annually to the best linebacker in college football. The Butkus Award® has been presented since 1985 by the DACO. For the second year in a row there was a tie for tenth place creating 11 semi-finalists instead of the usual 10. Miami's Dan Morgan is a Butkus Award® semi-finalist for the second straight year. Florida State teammates Brian Allen and Tommy Polley also made the semi-finalist cut.
On the year, Thomas leads the team with 42 tackles, seven more than No. 2 Ryan Nece. He ranks second with seven tackles for loss and first with four fumbles forced.
Last week at California, he led the Bruins with a season-high 11 tackles, including one for loss. He also forced one fumble.
The list was determined by confidential balloting of the 28-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 71 college linebackers, which was announced back on August 24, 2000.
On Thursday, November 9, 2000, DACO will announce the three finalists for this year's Butkus Award® at a national teleconference from the Spectators Sports Bar in the Downtown Orlando Marriott. The three Butkus Award® finalists and their coaches will participate in the announcement, which will be held in the Legend's Room around noon and sponsored by Sprint.
The 2000 Butkus Award® winner will be announced at the Butkus Award® Gala in Hard Rock Live on Friday, December 8, 2000. The Butkus Award® Gala will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net. Cooper Tire is the official sponsor for the Butkus Award® presented by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando.
The 11 semi-finalists (in alphabetical order) for the 2000 Butkus Award® are:
1. Keith Adams, Clemson
2. Brian Allen, Florida State
3. Adam Archuleta, Arizona State
4. Rocky Calmus, Oklahoma
5. Dan Morgan, Miami (FL)
6. Carlos Polk, Nebraska
7. Tommy Polley, Florida State
8. Matt Smith, Oregon
9. Ben Taylor, Virginia Tech
10. Robert Thomas, UCLA
11. Eric Westmoreland, Tennessee