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Butkus Award to be announced Friday night

Dec. 12, 2003 at 3:03 PM   |   Comments

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 12 (UPI) -- The winner of the Butkus Award, given annually to the top linebacker in the country, will be announced Friday night in Orlando, Fla.

The finalists were Derrick Johnson of Oklahoma, teammate Teddy Lehman, and Miami's Jonathan Vilma.

Johnson is the first Longhorn to be among the three finalists in the 18-year history of the Butkus Award. He is the only underclassman of the three.

Lehman is a finalist for the second straight season. Last season, he lost out to Maryland's E.J. Henderson. Also, teammate Rocky Calmus won the award in 2001.

Lehman already has won the Chuck Bednarik Award as the top defensive player in the country.

Vilma is trying to become the second Miami player in four years to win the award. Dan Morgan was honored in 2000.

© 2003 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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