LSU linebacker Ryan Baker was named Friday to the 2011 Butkus Award Watch List.
Baker, a senior from Grand Ridge, Fla., is the Tigers’ top returning tackler with 87 stops in 2010, including seven sacks.
Two Louisiana high school players have also been named to the High School Butkus Award Watch List: Ronnie Feist of East St. John and Trey Granier of Thibodaux. Both players are 2012 LSU commitments.
Other finalists for the college award include Penn State’s Michael Mauti from Mandeville (son of former New Orleans Saints and Penn State wide receiver Rich Mauti), Florida’s Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins, Jamie Collins of Southern Mississippi, Jerry Franklin of Arkansas, Chris Marve of Vanderbilt, Danny Trevathan of Kentucky and Don’t’a Hightower, Courtney Upshaw and Nico Johnson of Alabama.
The Butkus Award is named after Dick Butkus, a Hall of Fame linebacker with the Chicago Bears and at Illinois. A total of 51 players are named to the college and high school watch lists each year in honor of Butkus’ No. 51.
Semifinalists will be named Oct. 24, finalists Nov. 22 and the winner will be announced on or before Dec. 7.