Big 12: Eric Norwood
Texas' Sergio Kindle and Missouri's Sean Weatherspoon both were among the finalists announced Friday by the Butkus Foundation.
Kindle has produced 49 tackles, three sacks, 14 tackles for losses, 26 quarterback pressures , forced two fumbles and broken up two passes this season for the Longhorns. He's alternated between linebacker and defensive end.
Weatherspoon leads the Tigers with 93 tackles with 12 tackles for losses, 3 1/2 sacks, two pass deflections, an interception, a forced fumble and a quarterback pressure.
The winner of the award will be announced in early December.
The five Butkus Award finalists include:
- Sergio Kindle, Texas
- Rolando McClain, Alabama
- Eric Norwood, South Carolina
- Brandon Spikes, Florida
- Sean Weatherspoon, Missouri
Four different Big 12 players have been awarded the Butkus Award since the conference began play in 1996 -- Colorado's Matt Russell (1996), Oklahoma's Rocky Calmus (2001), Oklahoma's Teddy Lehman (2003) and Texas' Derrick Johnson (2004). And schools from the Big 12 and the Big Ten have produced the most winners since the award began in 1985 with eight honorees apiece.
Three Big 12 defensive players are among the eight semifinalists chosen for the Lott Trophy.
Texas defensive end Sam Acho, Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy were included on the list released by the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation of Newport Beach, Calif., which sponsors the award.
Other semifinalists include Tennessee safety Eric Berry, USC safety Taylor Mays, Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain, TCU defensive end Jerry Hughes and South Carolina defensive end Eric Norwood.
The four finalists for the award will be named Nov. 24 and the award will be presented at a banquet on Dec. 13 in Newport Beach, Calif.
A Big 12 player has never won the award in its five-year history.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Missouri senior linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is among nine 2009 quarterfinalists for the Lott Award.
Weatherspoon, a key producer on Missouri's back-to-back teams that made Big 12 championship games, was the only Big 12 quarterfinalist on the Lott Award's first watch list.
Other Big 12 players included were Texas Tech linebacker Brian Duncan, Texas linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy, Baylor linebacker Joe Pawelek, Kansas safety Darrell Stuckey, Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
Thirty-eight different schools are represented on the Watch List. Alabama, BYU, Georgia and UCLA each have two players nominated.
Named after Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, The Lott Trophy is awarded to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. Now in its sixth year, The Lott Trophy is the only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the winning player.
Other quarterfinalists who joined Weatherspoon on the list include Northwestern defensive end Corey Wooton, Tennessee defensive back Eric Berry, Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich, South Carolina defensive end Eric Norwood, Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes, Kentucky defensive end Jeremy Jarmon, BYU defensive end Jan Jorgensen and South Florida defensive end George Selvie.
It's good to see some Big 12 defensive players receive some national notoriety. Because once the season begins and the offenses start clicking across the conference, it likely again will be hard for most defenders across the conference to get much positive publicity.