Greene left off Butkus semifinalist list


So here is your head-scratcher for today.

Rutgers had a linebacker selected as a semifinalist for the Butkus Award on Monday. But somehow, it was not Khaseem Greene.

Rather, teammate Steve Beauharnais is one of 12 players under consideration for the award that goes to the best linebacker in college football. Beauharnais has had a nice season, so this post is not meant to put down his accomplishments. Rather, it is meant to ask, "WHAT IS THE BUTKUS COMMITTEE THINKING?"

If this group has seen Beauharnais play, then how could they possibly miss Greene, the heart and soul of the Rutgers defense? You know, the guy who won Co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year honors last year and has been nothing short of outstanding this year? You know, the guy who had 14 tackles, 1.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception against Syracuse two weeks ago to garner him just about every national weekly defensive award?

This one is simply inexplicable.

Currently, Greene ranks No. 2 in the Big East with 67 tackles. He also has four forced fumbles, two interceptions, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and six quarterback hurries on the season. Last week in a 35-10 win over Temple, Greene scored his first defensive touchdown since high school with a 20-yard fumble recovery. Greene has double-digit tackles in four of seven games this year, is one of the favorites to repeat as Big East Defensive Player of the Year.

If he does, Greene would join Virginia Tech defensive end Corey Moore as the only two-time winners in the category.

Let us not forget that Greene came into the season after breaking his ankle in the bowl game a year ago. He has not missed a step. He has been better now that he is in his second year playing linebacker. He is an exemplary person off the field as well, somebody who gets respect not only from his teammates but from his opponents around the league.

Greene fits the Butkus mold in every possible way. For him not to be recognized as a semifinalist is an outrage, and reflects much more on the committee's decision making than the way Greene has played this year.