LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech senior linebacker Riko Jeffers was named Monday to the watch list for the prestigious Butkus Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top linebacker.
This is the third preseason accolade already for Jeffers, who landed on the All-Big 12 first team by Phil Steele Magazine and the second team by Athlon Sports. He is one of 51 linebackers from across the country tabbed to the Butkus Award watch list.
Jeffers, a native of Garland, Texas, is coming off possibly his best season as a Red Raider as he finished second on the team with 76 tackles during the 2019 campaign, including 9.5 for a loss and 3.0 sacks. He added two forced fumbles and a pass breakup as well.
Over his three seasons, Jeffers has totaled 169 tackles, which leads all returning Red Raiders. He has 16.5 tackles for a loss over his career to go along with two passes defended, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Jeffers will be looking to end his Red Raider career in a similar fashion of NFL Draft first rounder Jordyn Brooks, who recorded 108 tackles and 20.0 tackles for a loss a year ago en route to be named a finalist for the Butkus Award. He was Texas Tech’s first finalist for the award since Ring of Honor member Zach Thomas in 1995.
Appearing on the preseason watch list is not a requirement for winning the Butkus Award. Semifinalists for the award are expected to be named Nov. 2 followed by a list of six finalists on Nov. 23 and then the winner on or before Dec. 8.
Formed in 1985 and expanded in 2008, the Butkus Award honors linebackers at three levels while supporting causing important to the Butkus family. The award is presented by the non-profit Butkus Foundation.