NDSU’s Hankey Named to Butkus Award Watch List

Jackson Hankey NDSU
Jackson Hankey NDSU(KVLY)
Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 4:30 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (NDSU Atheletics) - The Butkus Award® honoring the nation’s best linebackers recently kicked off its 37th annual selection process by announcing its collegiate and high school preseason watch lists. North Dakota State’s Jackson Hankey was the only nominee from the Football Championship Subdivision and one of only five mid-major players on the list.

Hankey, a senior from Park River, N.D., was NDSU’s leading tackler last season with 72 total stops. He had 2.5 tackles for loss, assisted on one sack, broke up three passes and had two quarterback hurries. Hankey registered a career-high 17 tackles as a sophomore in the 2019 national championship victory over James Madison and was the NCAA Elite 90 award winner for his academic success in agricultural economics. He was a CoSIDA Academic All-American® in 2019.

Former NDSU linebacker Nick DeLuca was named to the Butkus Award preseason watch list in 2016.

Each watch list contains 51 linebackers, mirroring the legendary “51” pro jersey associated with the Award’s namesake Dick Butkus, who was recognized by NFL Films as the best defensive player in football history. The Collegiate Butkus Award watch list includes candidates from 51 universities, including returning finalist Devin Lloyd of Utah and five returning semi-finalists. The High School Butkus Award watch list includes candidates from 51 secondary schools across 26 states, with Texas (6), Georgia (5) and Florida (4) fielding the most candidates. Semi-finalists are expected to be named Nov. 1, finalists Nov. 22, and winners on or before Dec. 7. Appearing on the watch list is not a requirement to win the award. The 2020 Butkus Award winners:

  • Collegiate: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame (now Cleveland Browns)
  • High School: Prince Kollie, David Crockett, Jonesborough, Tenn. (now Notre Dame)

Formed in 1985, the Butkus Award honors linebackers at three levels while supporting causes important to the Butkus family. Causes include Butkus Takes Heart™ initiative encouraging early cardiovascular screening among adults, and the I Play Clean® initiative encouraging athletes to train naturally without performance-enhancing drugs. The Butkus Award is partnering with Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage to celebrate Butkus Award winners. The event is scheduled Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. Contact the Butkus Foundation for ticket and sponsorship information. The Butkus Award® is presented by the Butkus Foundation and selected by a 51-member expert panel of coaches, scouts and journalists. The award is part of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. NCFAA’s 25 awards have honored more than 800 recipients since 1935. Visit www.NCFAA.org for more information.

2021 Butkus Award Collegiate Watch List

Blaze Alldredge, Missouri

Christopher Allen, Alabama

Will Anderson, Alabama

Adam Anderson, Georgia

Brian Asamoah, Oklahoma

Chris Bergin, Northwestern

Terrel Bernard, Baylor

Nik Bonnito, Oklahoma

Damone Clark, LSU

Nakobe Dean, Georgia

Olakunle Fatukasi, Rutgers

Amari Gainer, Florida State

Jeremiah Gemmel, North Carolina

Jackson Hankey, North Dakota State

Jake Hansen, Illinois

Aaron Hansford, Texas A&M

Christian Harris, Alabama

Lakia Henry, Mississippi

Nick Jackson, Virginia

Drake Jackson, USC

Mikel Jones, Syracuse

Nate Landman, Colorado

Devin Lloyd, Utah

Jesse Luketa, Penn State

Carlton Martial, Troy

Zakoby McClain, Auburn

Micah McFadden, Indiana

Ventrell Miller, Florida

Grant Morgan, Arkansas

Chad Muma, Wyoming

Anfernee Orji, Vanderbilt

Demarvion Overshown, Texas

James Patterson, Buffalo

Bumper Pool, Arkansas

Avery Roberts, Oregon State

Merlin Robertson, Arizona State

Malcolm Rodriguez, Oklahoma State

Mike Rose, Iowa State

Jack Sanborn, Wisconsin

Colin Schooler, Texas Tech

Noah Sewell, Oregon

James Skalski, Clemson

Brandon Smith, Penn State

Baylon Spector, Clemson

Jordan Strachan, South Carolina

Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Washington

Edefuan Ulofoshio, Washington

Quay Walker, Georgia

Payton Wilgar, BYU

Sam Williams, Mississippi

Payton Wilson, North Carolina State

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