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Penn State Football: Hull Named To Butkus Award Watch List

by on July 15, 2014 10:34 AM

Senior linebacker Mike Hull has a shot to continue in the tradition of great Penn State linebackers.

He joins 51 players named to the Butkus Award Preseason Watch List. The award is given to the top linebacker in the nation.

Presented annually since 1985, All-Americans LaVar Arrington (1999) and Paul Posluszny (2005) are former winners of the Butkus Award. Nittany Lions Shane Conlan (1986), Andre Collins (1989), Brandon Short (1999), Posluszny (2006) and Dan Connor (2007) were finalists for the Butkus Award.

Most recently, Gerald Hodges and Michael Mauti were both named semifinalists for the award in 2012.

Last season, Hull was second on the team with 78 tackles (44 solo) despite missing two full games and most of two others due to injury. He added 4.5 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, one forced and one recovered fumble.

In the Big Ten conference Hull ranked fifth with 9.1 tackles per game, making at least nine tackles in six Big Ten games. Hull came up huge in big games recording 10 tackles against Michigan, including two tackles for loss on Michigan’s final drive of regulation, and an athletic pass breakup, in the four-overtime win over the No. 18 Wolverines. He logged a career-high 13 stops – seven solo – in an overtime victory against Illinois and made a team-best seven tackles in the season finale win at No. 14 Wisconsin.

The Nittany Lions now have six players on six different preseason watch lists: Kyle Carter (Mackey Award – Nation’s Top Tight End), Christian Hackenberg (Maxwell Award – College Football MVP), Mike Hull (Butkus – Nation’s Top Linebacker). Jesse James (Mackey Award – Nation’s Top Tight End), Jordan Lucas (Bednarik – Defensive Player of the Year, Thorpe – Nation’s Top Defensive Back) and Donovan Smith (Outland Trophy - Nation's Top Interior Lineman).

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Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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