Stanford's Shayne Skov has been named one of 12 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, the Butkus Foundation announced Monday. The award honors the most outstanding linebacker in the country at three levels, including high school, college and professional football.
"This Award is about honoring linebackers at all levels, and reminding them that they have a responsibility to serve as role models and to give back to society," said Dick Butkus, the legendary Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker.
In addition to crowning the top linebacker, the Butkus Award aims to spread the word about the "I Play Clean™" initiative, which encourages teens to eat well, train hard, and play smart, instead of resorting to performance-enhancing drugs.
Skov leads one of the top defensive units in the country with 63 tackles through eight games. He also has contributed 7.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks along with two pass breakups and four quarterback hurries. His presence in the middle has held teams to just 103.3 yards per game on the ground, the 13th-best mark in the nation.
Skov also has helped the Cardinal rank 18th in the FBS in scoring defense (19.4 points per game) and 25th in total defense (351.7 yards per game).
The Pac-12 has four players on the list, including Anthony Barr (UCLA), Khairi Fortt (California) and Trevor Reilly (Utah). Alabama's C.J. Mosley is the only linebacker to return to the semifinalists list after making the top 12 last season.
Butkus Award honorees are selected by a 51-person panel comprised of scouts, coaches and journalists. The list will be narrowed to finalists Nov. 26 with the winner being announced Dec. 10.
Last year's winners were Manti Te'o, Notre Dame (San Diego Chargers); Jaylon Smith, Bishop Luers Fort Wayne, Ind. (Notre Dame); and Von Miller, Denver Broncos.