There are many standouts on the initial watch list for the 2014 Butkus Award.
But one name will likely stand out most to fans of New England college football:
— Tim Murphy (@CoachTimMurphy) July 14, 2014
Harvard’s Zach Hodges, a 6-foot-3, 235-pounder from Atlanta, Ga., was the Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 after finishing with 6.5 sacks (tied for the Ivy lead) and 11.5 tackles for a loss. He was a unanimous pick for the All-Ivy first team.
For his career, Hodges has 18.5 sacks and ranks second in Crimson history (2.0 behind Chris Smith).
Being added to the Butkus watch list is just the latest honor for Hodges, who has already been added to the 2014 Buck Buchanan Award watch list, the CFPA Defensive End Award watch list, and the Sports Network FCS Preseason All-America first team.
The Butkus Award, named for Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus, is given annually to the nation’s top linebacker. Hodges is one of 51 players named to the initial watch list, from which a panel of 51 experts will choose a winner after the 2014 season.
Harvard’s season begins Sept. 19 against Holy Cross.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.