Arkansas redshirt senior LB Grant Morgan has been named one of 16 finalists for the Butkus Award, which honors the nation’s best linebacker, the organization announced Monday.
Morgan has made a nation-leading 104 total tackles while registering 6.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, one interception, five passes broken up and two quarterback hurries this season. He has recorded 15 or more tackles in four games, the most in a single-season at Arkansas since Ken Hamlin in 2002 and the most by an SEC player since Missouri’s Kentrell Brothers in 2015. The former walk-on became the first Razorback since Tony Bua in 2003 to record consecutive 15+ tackle games with his second 19-tackle performance of the year against LSU.
His first 19-tackle game came in the 33-21 win over Ole Miss while adding 3.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, two passes broken up and an interception return for a touchdown, becoming the second FBS player since 2000 to total at least 15 tackles with 3.0 tackles for loss and an interception return for a touchdown. For his performance, he was named SEC co-Defensive Player of the Week, Chuck Bednarik Award Player of the Week, Bronko Nagurski Defensive Player of the Week and Athlon Sports Defensive Player of the Week.
Both of Morgan’s 19-tackle performances are tied for the second-most in a single-game by an FBS player this season. LSU’s Kevin Minter (2012) was the last SEC player to have two 19-tackle performances in the same year.
Butkus Award Semifinalists
Christian Harris, Alabama
Grant Morgan, Arkansas
Nate Landman, Colorado
Nakobe Dean, Georgia
Monty Rice, Georgia
Jabril Cox, LSU
Nick Bolton, Missouri
Chazz Surratt, North Carolina
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame
Pete Werner, Ohio State
Olakunle Fatukasi, Rutgers
Ernest Jones, South Carolina
Buddy Johnson, Texas A&M
Zaven Collins, Tulsa
Devin Lloyd, Utah
Charles Snowden, Virginia
The Greenwood, Ark. native began his career as a walk-on and was placed on scholarship ahead of the 2018 campaign. After redshirting in 2016, he has played in all of Arkansas’ 44 games since 2017.
Finalists are expected to be announced December 7, and winners will be announced on or before December 22. The Butkus Award is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. NCFAA’s 25 awards have honored more than 800 since 1935.
The Hogs travel to Missouri to play for the Battle Line Trophy on Saturday, Dec. 5. The game will kick off at 11 a.m. and air on SEC Network.