Matt Grootegoed Named A Finalist For The Butkus Award
Nov. 11, 2004
USC senior Matt Grootegoed has been named one of three finalists for the Butkus Award, presented annually to the nation's top college linebacker.
The other finalists are Ahmad Brooks of Virginia and Derrick Johnson of Texas.
They were selected by a 30-member Butkus Award Selection Committee, comprised of the nation's foremost media members.
The finalists and past winners will be honored at a black tie gala at the Renaissance Orlando Resort at Sea World on Dec. 10 emceed by former Butkus winner and ESPN analyst Trev Alberts. The culmination of the evening is the announcement of the 2004 recipient.
Grootegoed, a 4-year starter who was a 2003 semifinalist for the Butkus as well as the Lombardi Award, has a knack for always being around the ball. This year for the top-ranked Trojans, he has 47 tackles, including 9.5 for losses (with 2 sacks), along with a team-high 4 interceptions, 3 deflections, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. He currently is tied for 15th nationally in interceptions (0.4). He is a key member of a USC defense that is ranked in the top 6 in every NCAA defensive category.
USC's Chris Claiborne won the Butkus Award in 1998.
This is the 20th annual Butkus Award. Created in 1985 by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando Inc., the Butkus Award carries the name and support of one of the greatest middle linebackers in football history, Dick Butkus.