Clemson linebacker Stephone Anthony is one of 15 semifinalists for the 2014 Dick Butkus Award. The honor goes to the top linebacker in college football each year. Anthony and Denzel Perryman of Miami are the only ACC players among the final 15.
Anthony is the leading tackler on a Clemson defense that ranks third in the nation in total defense, seventh in pass defense, 11th in rushing defense and 11th in scoring defense. The Tigers also lead the nation in third-down conversion defense and tackles for loss per game.
The senior from Polkton, N.C. has 58 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, four passes broken up, two caused fumbles and an interception. In Clemson’s win over Syracuse last Saturday, Anthony had seven tackles, a sack, a caused fumble and an interception in helping the Tigers to a 16-6 victory.
The list of Butkus Award semifinalists include Stephone Anthony (Clemson), Myles Jack (UCLA), Jordan Jenkins (Georgia), A.J. Johnson (Tennessee), Eric Kendricks (UCLA), Hau’oli Kikaha (Washington), Bendardrick McKinney (Mississippi State), Denzel Perryman (Miami-FL), Hayes Pullard (Southern California), Reggie Ragland (Alabama), Jake Ryan (Michigan), Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame), Eric Striker (Oklahoma), Shaq Thompson (Washington), Ramik Wilson (Georgia).
Finalists for the Butkus Award will be announced on November 24 and the winner will be announced December 9.