UConn linebacker Yawin Smallwood is one of 12 players nationally to be selected as a semi-finalist for the Collegiate 2013 Butkus Award, as announced Monday by the Butkus Foundation. The Butkus Award honors the nation’s top linebackers annually at the collegiate, professional and high school levels.
Smallwood, a 2012 All-BIG EAST First Team selection, was named to virtually every preseason national defensive award watch list this year, and has not disappointed thus far. The redshirt junior is UConn’s leading tackler with 79 stops in 2013, good for 11.3 per game. That mark is second in The American and sixth in the nation.
In addition to his 79 tackles, Smallwood has added 4.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble and three passes defended. He has accumulated double digit tackles in five of seven games, including a career-high 16 in the season opener vs. Towson on Aug. 29. He also had a 13-tackle, one sack performance against then-No. 14 Michigan on Sept. 21, for which he was named CBSSports.com National Defensive Player Of The Week.
The full list of collegiate semi-finalists can be found below. Finalists will be announced Nov. 26 and winners will be announced by Dec. 10.
Collegiate 2013 Butkus Award Semi-Finalists
Anthony Barr UCLA
Lamin Barrow Louisiana State University
Chris Borland University of Wisconsin
Khairi Fortt University of California
Khalil Mack University at Buffalo
C.J. Mosley University of Alabama
Denzel Perryman University of Miami (Fla.)
Trevor Reilly University of Utah
Ryan Shazier The Ohio State University
Shayne Skov Stanford University
Yawin Smallwood UConn
Kyle Van Noy Brigham Young University
The American Athletic Conference has announced the winners of the league’s weekly football honors for the ninth week of the college football season.
AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Garrett Gilbert • Sr. • QB • SMU
Gilbert, who was also named Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week, rallied SMU to a 59-49 win against Temple. Gilbert completed 37 of 53 passes for a school-record 538 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 97 yards and two more TDs to help SMU overcome a 28-7 second-quarter deficit. Gilbert, who leads the nation in total offense (408.3 yards per game), registered 635 yards of offense against Temple, ranking seventh on the NCAA’s all-time single-game chart.
AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Trevon Stewart • So. • S • Houston
Stewart led a Houston defense that forced six turnovers in the Cougars’ 49-14 win against Rutgers. Stewart was responsible for two of those takeaways as he had an interception, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery to go with a game-high 10 tackles. Stewart leads the American Athletic Conference and ranks second nationally with four fumble recoveries this season.
AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Shawn Moffitt • Jr. • K • UCF
Moffitt scored 14 points to help UCF remain unbeaten in American Athletic Conference play with a 62-17 win against UConn. Moffitt made field goals of 50 and 35 yards and was 8-for-8 on PATs against UConn, remaining perfect on placements this season. Moffitt has gone 9-for-9 in field goal attempts and is 28-for-28 on extra-point attempts.
WEEKLY HONOR ROLL
Blake Bortles • Jr. • QB • UCF
Accounted for five touchdowns, going 20-of-24 for 286 passing yards and four TDs and rushing for another score in a 62-17 win against UConn.
John O’Korn • Fr. • QB • Houston
Completed 24 of 30 passes for 364 yards and five touchdowns in a 49-14 win at Rutgers.
Teddy Bridgewater • Jr. • QB • Louisville
Completed 25 of 29 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-3 win at USF, marking his 20th consecutive game with a touchdown pass.
Keenan Holman • Sr. • WR • SMU
Had 10 receptions for 209 yards and three touchdowns in a 59-49 win against Temple.
Robby Anderson • Jr. • WR • Temple
Had nine receptions for 239 yards and two touchdowns in a 59-49 loss at SMU.