Damone Clark on the 2021 Butkus Award watch

·2 min read

LSU senior Damone Clark has earned the recognition as one of the top linebackers in the NCAA ahead of the 2021 season. This has landed him on the Preseason Watchlist for the 2021 Butkus Award.

The Butkus Award has been given to the top linebacker in college football every year since 1985. The trophy is awarded by the Butkus Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports a number of health and wellness activities including the “I Play Clean” anti-steroid program.

Last season, Clark played in all 10 matchups for LSU finishing with a career-best 63 tackles (28 solo), four tackles for loss and a sack. He hit the 50-tackle mark in 2019 with 4 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

Clark is now competing as the starting middle linebacker for the Tigers, and is already showing signs of an excellent season following LSU’s spring drills. He will be a major focus for the Tiger’s defense which includes the team’s weakside linebacker Mike Jones Jr., returning starter Micah Baskerville, and the nation’s No. 1 junior college linebacker Navonteque Strong.

Other linebackers on the Butkus Award watchlist include:

Blaze Alldredge, Missouri
Christopher Allen, Alabama
Will Anderson, Alabama
Adam Anderson, Georgia
Brian Asamoah, Oklahoma
Chris Bergin, Northwestern
Terrel Bernard, Baylor
Nik Bonnito, Oklahoma
Nakobe Dean, Georgia
Olakunle Fatukasi, Rutgers
Amari Gainer, Florida State
Jeremiah Gemmel, North Carolina
Jackson Hankey, North Dakota State
Jake Hansen, Illinois
Aaron Hansford, Texas A&M
Christian Harris, Alabama
Lakia Henry, Mississippi
Nick Jackson, Virginia
Drake Jackson, USC
Mikel Jones, Syracuse
Nate Landman, Colorado
Devin Lloyd, Utah
Jesse Luketa, Penn State
Carlton Martial, Troy
Zakoby McClain, Auburn
Micah McFadden, Indiana
Ventrell Miller, Florida
Grant Morgan, Arkansas
Chad Muma, Wyoming
Anfernee Orji, Vanderbilt
Demarvion Overshown, Texas
James Patterson, Buffalo
Bumper Pool, Arkansas
Avery Roberts, Oregon State
Merlin Robertson, Arizona State
Malcolm Rodriguez, Oklahoma State
Mike Rose, Iowa State
Jack Sanborn, Wisconsin
Colin Schooler, Texas Tech
Noah Sewell, Oregon
James Skalski, Clemson
Brandon Smith, Penn State
Baylon Spector, Clemson
Jordan Strachan, South Carolina
Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Washington
Edefuan Ulofoshio, Washington
Quay Walker, Georgia
Payton Wilgar, BYU
Sam Williams, Mississippi
Payton Wilson, North Carolina State

The first LSU linebacker to win this award was Devin White in 2018. Hopefully the Tigers can add a second name to that list in the upcoming season.

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