Penn State senior linebackers Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges were named to the Butkus Award Watch List today.
Mauti, who missed the final eight games last season because of a torn left ACL, and Hodges are both outside linebackers. Mauti has endured an injury-plagued career, collecting a career-high 67 tackles in 2010.
Hodges was named to the Bednarik Award Watch List last week. He had 106 tackles last season, including 10 for a loss.
The Butkus Award, named after former Illinois and NFL great Dick Butkus, is awarded to the nation's top linebacker. Former Penn State standouts LaVar Arrington (1999) and Paul Posluszny (2005) are previous winners of the award, which was instituted in 1985.
Fifty-one players are on this year's preseason watch list. Michigan State's Denicos Allen and Max Bullough, Wisconsin's Chris Borland, Ohio State's Etienne Sabino, Northwestern David Nwabuisi, Iowa's James Morris and Illinois' Jonathan Brown join Mauti and Hodges as Big Ten representatives on the list.
Senior defensive tackle Jordan Hill was also named to the Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List today. The award honors college football's top lineman.
Hill, who had 59 tackles last season, landed on the Outland Trophy Award Watch List last week.