Cal Football: Devante Downs Named To The Butkus Award Watch List
CHICAGO, Ill. – Cal senior inside linebacker Devante Downs was named Monday to the 2017 watch list for The Butkus Award® honoring the nation’s top linebackers at the high school, collegiate and professional levels. The preseason watch lists for the high school and collegiate candidates were announced Monday.
Downs is one of eight Cal players currently on a preseason watch list heading into the 2017 season with the others Matt Anderson (Lou Groza Collegiate Place-kicker Award), Steven Coutts (Ray Guy Award), Raymond Davison (Allstate Good Works Team® Nominee), James Looney (Bronko Nagurski Trophy), Addison Ooms (Rimington Trophy), Cameron Saffle (Lott IMPACT Trophy) and Tre Watson (Paul Hornung Award).
Downs has played in 33 career games with 13 starts over his first three seasons at Cal from 2014-16 and heads into his 2017 senior season as the Golden Bears’ active career leader in tackles with 147 while he also shares the team’s active career lead with 5.0 sacks (-26 yards). He has added 9.0 tackles for loss (-35 yards) as well as three interceptions that he has returned for 20 yards, three pass breakups, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble, as well as two kick returns for eight yards. Downs led Cal with a single-season career-high 84 tackles as a 2016 junior.
The award is given in honor of Dick Butkus, who was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons in 1979 and 1980. He was also on the All-Decade Team for both the 1960’s and 1970’s, a six-time first-team All-Pro choice and an eight-time Pro Bowl selection during his nine NFL seasons with the Chicago Bears from 1965-73. In 2009, he was selected as the most feared tackler of all-time by NFL.com.
The winner of the Butkus Award will be presented live at the Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show televised by ESPNU on December 7, 2017.
Visit thebutkusaward.com for additional information.
The Butkus Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. Founded in 1997, the NCFAA and its 23 awards now boast over 800 recipients, dating to 1935. The members of the NCFAA are unveiling their preseason watch lists over a 12-day period this month from July 10-21. Sixteen of the association’s 23 awards select a preseason watch list and the NCFAA has spearheaded a coordinated effort to promote each award’s preseason candidates.