Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones was announced as a semifinalist for the Butkus Award on Friday. The honor goes to the nation's top linebacker.â†µ
Jones is a repeat semifinalist, along with Travis Lewis of Oklahoma and Von Miller of Texas A&M. He is the only Big Ten player to be named to the list of 15 semifinalists.â†µ
The senior linebacker leads the Spartans in tackles (60), forced fumbles (3) and quarterback hurries (3) this season. He is also second on the team in tackles for loss, with five (for 15 yards), and his three interceptions are tied for third.â†µ
From MSU linebackers coach Mike Tressel:â†µ
"Greg has always been a great tackler, but this season, he's really become a factor in creating turnovers. Heading into his senior year, he really wanted to focus on taking advantage of those opportunities to make interceptions and force fumbles."â†µ
If Jones wins the Butkus Award, he will become the ninth linebacker in Big Ten history to earn the honor. He'll also be the second Michigan State player to win the award, joining Percy Snow, who won in 1989.â†µ
Finalists will be announced on November 23, with the winner to be notified by December 8.