With little to no fanfare, outstanding senior linebackers Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges are both semi-finalists for the 2012 Butkus award, given to the nation's top linebacker. Penn State is the only school with two semi finalists.
Past Penn State winners of the award were LaVar Arrington (1999) and Paul Posluzny (2005). In 2006, Posluszny won the Bednarik award, given to the nation's top defender--but not the Butkus. Because he was the best defensive player, but not the best linebacker.
In light of the announcement earlier this month that neither Hodges nor Mauti made the top 25 for the Rotary Lombardi award, this is most welcome news for anyone who actually thinks that individual trophies and awards should go to the players that are truly the best at their position, all politics aside.
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