University of South Carolina senior Skai Moore has been named to the Butkus Award Watch List, which honors the nation’s best linebacker, it was announced today.
Moore, a 6-2, 218-pounder from Cooper City, Fla., returned to the field in the spring after taking a redshirt year in 2016 due to a neck injury. The most decorated returning player on the Gamecocks’ roster, Moore was named preseason second-team All-SEC by both Athlon magazine and by the media attending SEC Media Days. He was a second-team All-SEC selection in 2015 by both the AP and the league’s coaches. Moore has tallied 260 career tackles, needing 47 to move into the school’s all-time top-10. He led the team in tackles for three-consecutive seasons from 2013-15, becoming the first player to do so since Tony Watkins from 1992-94, and could become the first Gamecock to lead the team in tackles in four seasons, a feat that has been done just 14 times in NCAA Division I history. Moore also owns 11 career interceptions, tying for third on the all-time list and just three shy of Bo Davies’ school record of 14. The senior linebacker was named to the Bednarik and Nagurski Trophy watch lists last week.
Mirroring the legendary "51" pro jersey of the award's namesake Dick Butkus whom NFL Films considers the best defensive player in football history, the watch list features 51 players identified by a 51-person selection panel of deeply experienced coaches, talent evaluators and journalists. Appearance on the watch list is not required to become a winner.
Semi-finalists will be named October 30, finalists November 20, and winners will be notified on or before December 5. The Professional winner will be announced in early 2018.
Formed in 1985, the Butkus Award was expanded in 2008 to honor linebackers at three levels while helping spread the word about Butkus' I Play Clean™ initiative which encourages teens to eat well, train hard, and play with attitude instead of resorting to performance-enhancing drugs.
The Butkus Award, www.thebutkusaward.com and on Facebook at 51.butkus, is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization. Selection criteria is located on the official website. The Butkus Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses college football's most prestigious awards. Its 23 awards have honored more than 800 people since 1935. Visit www.NCFAA.org for more information.