Bates on Butkus Award Preseason Watch List

Aug. 24, 2001

ORLANDO, Fla. - Junior linebacker Solomon Bates is one of 69 candidates on the preseason watch list for the 2001 Butkus Award. In its 17th year, the Butkus Award is annually presented to the nation's best collegiate linebacker by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando.

The watch list will be cut down to 10 semifinalists on Thursday, Oct. 18, while three finalists will be announced on Thursday, Nov. 8. The Butkus Award winner will be announced on Friday, Dec. 7 at the Butkus Award Gala at Hard Rock Live at the Universal Studios City Walk in Orlando.

An honorable-mention All-Pac-10 selection last year, Bates started all 12 games at middle linebacker for the Sun Devils in 2000. He finished second on the team in total and unassisted tackles and turned in 12 tackles for loss. As a true freshman, Bates was named a Freshman All-American by the Sporting News and one of Sports Illustrated's 'Top 10 Freshmen.' The Moreno Valley, Calif., native finished eighth on the team in tackles in 1999 despite being sidelined with a season-ending knee injury after eight games.

The Butkus Award was established in 1985 and is named about former University of Illinois and Chicago Bear NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, who will present the award to the winner at Dec. 7's gala in Orlando.

With Bates on the Butkus Award list, a total of five Sun Devils are currently on preseason watch lists for major national awards. Other Sun Devils on preseason watch lists are senior center Scott Peters and sophomore defensive end Terrell Suggs on the Lombardi Award list, junior placekicker Mike Barth on the Lou Groza Award list and senior punter Nick Murphy on the Ray Guy Award list.

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