Dick Butkus Award: Von Miller
The Dick Butkus award is presented annually to the best linebacker in the nation. This year, outside linebacker Von Miller of the Texas A&M Aggies earned this prestigious designation.
During his time as an Aggie, Miller has proven himself to be one of the best pass-rushing linebackers in recent college history. After asserting himself as a dominant pass-rush presence with 17 sacks in 2009, Miller opted to stay for his senior year in 2010 and put on quite an encore. As a senior, he racked up 59 total tackles, 9.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, two recovered fumbles, and an interception. Despite the drop in sacks, he was much more productive in pass coverage, as evidenced by his six pass breakups, as well as against the run. Miller led the way for an Aggies’ defense that helped lift the team to a 9-3 record, 17th overall BCS ranking at the end of the regular season, and a trip to play against the LSU Tigers in the AT&T Cotton Bowl.
Millers’ best game of the season came during Texas A&M’s 24-17 win over rival Texas in the regular season finale. During their win against the Longhorns, Miller accounted for seven tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, and made his lone interception of the season.