Contact: Ron Arp [email protected] 360.601.2991 NAKOBE DEAN of GEORGIA WINS 37TH COLLEGIATE BUTKUS AWARD® ATHENS, Ga. – (December 5, 2021) – The 37th annual collegiate Butkus Award® honoring the nation’s best collegiate linebacker was presented today to University of Georgia inside linebacker Nakobe Dean. The award was presented by football legend Dick Butkus and his son Matt in a surprise announcement during a team meeting today. Dean received 34 percent of the weighted vote and 52 percent of first-place votes in becoming the second Bulldog to win the prestigious trophy, which honors top linebackers at three levels. Dean also won the 2018 high school Butkus Award. The 6-0, 225 lb. junior mechanical engineering major from Horn Lake, Miss., started all 12 regular season games in 2021 for the Bulldogs, which surrendered an average of just 6.9 points per game. His regular-season performance included 56 total tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and two interceptions, including one for touchdown. He has played in 37 games during his Georgia career. The selection committee stated: “Nakobe Dean is a playmaker with a special combination of strength, coverage ability, playmaking flair and leadership skill. He consistently makes his presence felt on the field and in the community, elevates the defense with his command and is a complete linebacker who has made a tremendous impact on Georgia’s program.” Finishing second was Devin Lloyd of Utah with 30 percent of the weighted vote. Others receiving votes; Leo Chenal of Wisconsin (15%), Damone Clark of LSU (7%), Darrian Beavers of Cincinnati (7%), Chad Muma of Wyoming (7%), and DeMarvion Overshown of Texas with a write-in vote. The Butkus Award® selection committee is comprised of 51 football coaches, recruiters, talent scouts and journalists who study football talent yearlong. Selectors are asked to recognize qualities that defined Butkus’ career: toughness, on-field leadership, competitiveness, football character and linebacking skills. They follow a 3-2-1 weighted vote in a confidential ballot. Dean is Georgia’s second Butkus Award winner, joining Roquan Smith (2017) now with the Chicago Bears. Dean joins Jaylon Smith and Manti Te’o as the only players to win both the national high school and collegiate trophy. The Butkus Award is partnering with Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa, Rancho Mirage, Calif. to celebrate Butkus Award winners. The evening event is Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. A limited number of ticket packages are available by contacting the Butkus Foundation at [email protected] 18920 NE 227th Ave., Brush Prairie, WA 98606 360.601.2991 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) Professional: T.J. Watt, Pittsburgh Steelers The Butkus Award® is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization which advances health and wellness through special initiatives. This includes the I Play Clean® program encouraging athletes to play using their natural ability, and the Butkus Takes Heart™ program encouraging preventive heart scans and screening among adults. The Butkus Award is a member 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 since 1935. 18920 NE 227th Ave., Brush Prairie, WA 98606 360.601.2991

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