COLUMBUS, Ohio - A pair of Ohio State linebackers - junior Jerome Baker and senior Chris Worley - have been named to the watch list for the Butkus Award, which is presented to the top linebacker in college football.
Baker, the big-play maker who had a pick-six in the win over Oklahoma, 13 tackles in the win over Wisconsin and 15 tackles plus an interception in the win over Michigan last season, is on his third watch list of the preseason. He was previously named to watch lists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Bednarik Award.
Worley, a communications major from Cleveland, started all 13 games for the Buckeyes last season at outside linebacker but moved to the middle this spring. He ranked fourth on the team in tackles with 70 last year and he also contributed four pass break-ups, an interception (vs. Michigan State), two quarterback pressures and a forced fumble. He, too, played well in the biggest games: a career-high of 11 tackles in the win over Michigan; and 10 tackles vs. both Oklahoma and Clemson. He also set a personal best with seven solo stops in the win at Wisconsin.
A third 2017 Ohio State linebacker - junior Dante Booker - is coming off an injury season in 2016 but before that he was named to the Butkus Award's 2016 watch list.
2017 Ohio State Football Preseason Honors
Paul Hornung Award
H-B Parris Campbell
Jim Thorpe Award
CB Denzel Ward
C Billy Price
John Mackey Award
TE Marcus Baugh
Allstate AFCA Good Works Team
QB J.T. Barrett
Draft Day: Denzel Ward