Bailey named to 2012 Butkus Award watch list

The preseason accolades keep growing for sophomore linebacker Dion Bailey. The Lakewood, Calif., native has now been named to the watch list for the Butkus Award, the Butkus Foundation announced Monday.

The list is made up of 51 candidates for the award, which annually honors the nation’s top linebacker.

A season ago, Bailey finished with 81 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions, while being named Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year. Bailey and fellow freshman linebacker Hayes Pullard were the first freshmen to lead USC in tackling since records were first kept in 1954. So far this offseason, he’s been named to the watch lists for the Chuck Bednarik and Bronko Nagurski Awards, which are both given to the top defensive player in all of college football.

Semifinalists for the Butkus Award will be announced on Oct. 22 and finalists unveiled on Nov. 20. Winners will be notified on, or before, Dec. 4, according to the release.