Matt Grootegoed Named Semifinalist For Butkus Award

Oct. 16, 2003

Los Angeles - USC junior linebacker Matt Grootegoed has been named one of 11 semifinalists for the 2003 Butkus Award, presented annually to the best linebacker in college football.

The three finalists will be announced Nov. 13 and the winner will be revealed on Dec. 12.

The other semifinalists are Michael Boulware of Florida State, Josh Buhl of Kansas State, Karlos Dansby of Auburn, Rod Davis of Southern Mississippi, Teddy Lehman of Oklahoma, Derrick Johnson of Texas, Courtney Watson of Notre Dame, Demorrio Williams of Nebraska and Jonathan Vilma and D.J. Williams of Miami.

Grootegoed could be the second Trojan to win the Butkus award. In 1998, USC linebacker Chris Claiborne earned the honors.

This season Grootegoed, who was an All-Pac-10 first team selection as a sophomore, is leading the Trojans in tackles with 39. He also has 4.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.

He is also on the 'Watch List' for the 2003 Lombardi Award (awarded to the nation's top lineman) and Bronko Nagurski Trophy (given to the nation's top defensive player).

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