On Tuesday, it was announced that three Utes were named to pre-season watch lists. Jared Norris added another list to his resume, with the Butkus Award, along with Jason Whittingham - the award for the nation's best linebacker. The 3rd Utah linebacker (and probably the best one), Gionni Paul took notice of the watch list nominations:
no watch list for me. Just watch out for 13. Better player, smarter player, healthy foot, faster player, stronger player, chip on shoulder— Gionni Paul (@GionniPaul) July 15, 2015
Hunter Dimick, after a great 2014, has found himself on a watch list of his own, by being named to the Lombardi Award watch list, the award for the nation's top lineman.
Here is the press release that breaks down the news more:
HOUSTON - Utah junior defensive end Hunter Dimick has been named to the watch list for the Rotary Lombardi Award, presented to the college lineman of the year while senior linebackers Jared Norris and Jason Whittingham are on the watch list for the Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker.
Dimick, who was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection as a sophomore, has played at both end positions and will start at left end for the second-straight year. He finished ninth in the nation in sacks per game last season (0.91) and his 10.0 total sacks tied for the seventh-most in a season in school history. Dimick finished fourth in the Pac-12 in tackles for loss per game (1.32).
Eligibility for the Rotary Lombardi Award is limited to down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage. Twelve semifinalists will be selected on Nov. 5 with the winner announced on Dec. 9.
Norris, who has also been named to watch lists for the Bednarik Award (Defensive Player of the Year), Nagurski Trophy (Outstanding Defensive Player) and Lott Trophy (Defensive Best in Character and Performance), was Utah's leading tackler a year ago with 116 stops. He finished third in the Pac-12 in tackles per game (8.9) and was fourth in total tackles (116), earning honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors.
Whittingham has started at linebacker since his sophomore season. He was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection in 2013. Last season he played in five games with four starts (missing eight games with an injury) and had 20 tackles (1.0 TFL) and a pass breakup.
Semifinalists for the Butkus Award will be named on Nov. 2 with the field narrowing to finalists on Nov. 23 and the winner announced on Dec. 8.
Also named to preseason watch lists this year are Devontae Booker (Maxwell Award - College Player of the Year), Tom Hackett (Ray Guy Award - Punter), Andy Phillips (Lou Groza Award - Kicker) and Siaosi Aiono (Rimington Trophy - Center).
Several football watch lists for awards handed out through the National College Football Awards Association will be released through July 17. For more information, visit http://ncfaa.org/.