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Buffs LBs Wells, Landman Earn Preseason Honors

Jul 26, 2021
Carson Wells and Nate Landman give the Buffs a potent one-two combination at linebacker.

BOULDER — Colorado standout linebackers Carson Wells and Nate Landman had more preseason honors added to their lists Monday.

Landman, a senior inside linebacker, was named to the watch list for the Butkus Award, given annually to the nation's top linebacker.

Wells, a junior outside linebacker, was named to the 2021 College Football America Yearbook "Preseason Dream Team" as a second-team selection.

Together, the two give Colorado one of the most potent inside-outside linebacker combinations in the nation.

Landman is no stranger to the Butkus list. A two-time first-team All-Pac-12 selection, Landman last season was a Butkus Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy semifinalist despite playing just five games (he was injured in CU's regular-season finale against Utah). He earned three National Player of the Week awards in 2020 (Nagurski, Camp and Bednarik) while finishing with 61 tackles (12.3 per game), five sacks and 10 total tackles for loss.

Landman enters 2021 with 29 career starts in 40 games played and is ranked 10th on CU's career tackles chart with 338 and 12th on the tackles for loss list with 34. He also already owns the school record for fourth-down stops with eight.

Landman is in position to become CU's third Butkus Award winner, following in the footsteps of Alfred Williams (1990) and Matt Russell (1996).

Wells burst onto the national scene last year after turning heads around the Pac-12 in 2018 and 2019. He earned first-team all-conference honors in 2020 after leading the nation in tackles per loss, averaging 2.7 per game — the only player in America to average more than two per contest. He finished with 34 tackles, including 4.5 sacks, and also had eight third down stops, five pass breakups, five quarterback hurries and an interception. He also had six tackles, including three for loss with two sacks, in the Alamo Bowl.

Wells' four straight games with at least three tackles for loss is the most by a Buff since Williams accomplished the feat in 1990.

While Wells was not included on the initial Butkus watch list, his name could be added as the season progresses.