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    Young Named Butkus Award Candidate
    Senior Michael Young is a candidate for the 2000 Butkus Award.

    Senior Michael Young is a candidate for the 2000 Butkus Award.
    University of Illinois football player Michael Young has been named as a candidate for the 2000 Butkus Award, as announced by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando.

    The Butkus Award, which honors the nation's top collegiate linebacker, announced its preliminary list of 70 candidates, Thursday morning. Young is making his first appearance on the list and is one of 10 players selected from the Big Ten Conference.

    Young is beginning his fourth year as a starter for the Illini, and ranked sixth on the team in total tackles in 1999. He forced three sacks, four tackles for loss and one fumble while tallying 48 tackles last year. Young is the only returning starter for the linebacking corp this season and serves as one of the main leaders on the young Illinois defense.

    The Butkus Award, sponsored by Cooper Tire, is regarded as one of the most elite individual honors in college football. Created in 1985 by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando Inc., the Butkus Award is named for one of the greatest middle linebackers in football history, Dick Butkus of Illinois. Past winners include: LaVar Arrington (1999-Penn State), Andy Katzenmoyer (1997-Ohio State), Kevin Hardy (1995-Illinois), and Dana Howard (1994-Illinois).

    The Butkus Award Watch List will be trimmed to 10 semi-finalists on Oct. 19 and the three finalists will be announced on a national teleconference on Nov. 9. The winner will be announced Friday, Dec. 8 at the Hard Rock Live in Universal Studios. The Butkus Award selection committee is made up of 28 of the nation's foremost media members.

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    Akin AyodelePurdueBrent PassayUtah State
    Boss BaileyGeorgiaJeremiah PharmsWashington
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    Kevin BentleyNorthwesternKenny PhilpottEastern Michigan
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    Shannon BrazellTCUTommy PolleyFlorida State
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    Ben MezeraMinnesotaJamie WinbornVanderbilt
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    Zeke MorenoUSCMichael YoungIllinois

    Presented by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, Inc. Sponsored by Cooper Tire

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