LAWRENCE, Kan. - Kansas linebacker Mike Rivera has been named to the Butkus Award Watch List joining several teammates that are on national award watch lists this season. The award is annually given to the nation's best collegiate linebacker.
Rivera, a junior from Shawnee Mission, Kan., is on a preliminary list of 66 candidates, which will be trimmed to 10 semifinalists on Oct. 18. Through two games, Rivera has made nine tackles, including 2.5 for loss. Among those tackles for loss was a sack against Southeastern Louisiana.
The 6-3, 255-pounder has also broken up one pass from his outside linebacker position. Last season Rivera was the starter at middle linebacker where he led the team with 90 tackles.
Rivera is one of several Jayhawks on national award watch lists as cornerback Aqib Talib is on the Bronko Nagurski (nation's best defender), Jim Thorpe (best defensive back) and Walter Camp Player of the Year lists, while defensive tackle James McClinton is on the Lombardi Award list given annually to the nation's top defensive lineman.
Patrick Willis of Mississippi won the award last year, while past Big 12 honorees of the national award include Derrick Johnson of Texas in 2004, Teddy Lehman of Oklahoma in 2003, Rocky Calmus of Oklahoma in 2001, Matt Russell of Colorado in 1996, Trev Alberts of Nebraska in 1993, Alfred Williams of Colorado in 1990, and Brian Bosworth of Oklahoma, who won the first two awards in 1985 and 1986.
Kansas will host Toledo this Saturday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at www.kuathletics.com, (785) 864-3141 or at the ticket office at Allen Fieldhouse.