SEC has 11 players (but not Roquan Smith) on Butkus Award watch list

Butkus Award

Two Alabama standouts are among 11 SEC players on the watch list for the Butkus Award, which goes to the nation’s top college linebacker.

Alabama’s Reuben Foster won the 2016 Butkus Award, and Tide seniors Rashaan Evans and Shaun Dion Hamilton are on this season’s watch list. Like Foster, Evans is a graduate of Auburn (Ala.) High.

The 11 SEC players on the list:

Davin Bellamy – Georgia
Oren Burks – Vanderbilt
Lorenzo Carter – Georgia
Rashaan Evans – Alabama
DeMarquis Gates – Ole Miss
Dre Greenlaw – Arkansas
Shaun Dion Hamilton – Alabama
Jordan Jones – Kentucky
Arden Key – LSU
Skai Moore – South Carolina
Tre’ Williams – Auburn

The most surprising omission from the SEC is Georgia’s Roquan Smith, who led the Bulldogs in tackles last season and was a first-team preseason All-SEC selection. Also missing from the watch list is Tennessee’s Darrin Kirkland Jr.

There are three FCS players on the list, including Southeastern Louisiana’s Sione Teuhema. He began his career at LSU before transferring before the 2016 season. His brother, Maea, is expected to start at guard for LSU this season.

(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)

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