Throughout a majority of the off-season, one name remained absent from conversation. On Monday morning, the situation changed as Caleb Kelly found himself on the Butkus Award Watchlist. The man himself, Dick Butkus, said, “When a player receives the Butkus Award he will know two things. First, he is recognized as the best of the best linebackers in America. Second, and in the long run most important, he will understand that this recognition brings a responsibility to serve others by giving back.”
Keep your 👀 on the Sooner LBs this year!@calebkkelly named to Butkus Award preseason watch list.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) July 23, 2018
This season, the Oklahoma Sooner represents one of four linebackers from the Big 12 to be featured on the Butkus Award Watch List. After earning playing time as a true freshman, Kelly’s career tackle number sits at 92. However, the junior should see an uptick in that number due to a shifting back to inside linebacker. Needless to say, the expectations for standout continue to rise.
Semifinalists for the award will be named on October 29 while the finalists are set to be named on November 19 of this year.