IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa junior linebacker Josey Jewell has been named a semifinalist for the 2016 Butkus Award, the Butkus Foundation announced Monday. The Butkus Award is presented annually to the nation’s best linebacker.
This year’s semifinalists include a dozen collegiate linebackers from 10 universities. Jewell is among four Big Ten student-athletes up for the award, joining Jerome Baker and Raekwon McMillan of Ohio State, and Wisconsin’s Jack Cichy. Finalists for the award will be announced on Monday, Nov. 21, with the winner being announced on or before Dec. 6.
Jewell (6-foot-2, 230-pounds) has started every game this season and is second in the Big Ten with 77 tackles. Jewell matched his career high with 16 stops in Week 8 against No. 10 Wisconsin. His 254 career tackles rank 30th in program history. Jewell anchors the fifth-best red zone defense in the country and has been a key part of a Hawkeye defense that is allowing just over 18 points per game and has recorded 12 takeaways (five interceptions, seven fumble recoveries).
Former Hawkeye Larry Station was a finalist for the Butkus Award in 1985, while Chad Greenway was a semifinalist in 2005.
Jewell and the Hawkeyes travel to University Park, Pennsylvania, this Saturday, looking for their sixth win of the season against 20th-ranked Penn State. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised live on BTN.