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Edgerrin Cooper named to Butkus Award watchlist

Big expectations for the veteran linebacker

Texas A&M v Auburn Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

Texas A&M football’s Edgerrin Cooper was selected to the Butkus Award Preseason Watch List, announced Thursday morning by Butkus Foundation. The award annually recognizes the top linebacker in the nation.

Cooper earned the starting job at linebacker as a sophomore last season, playing in 11 games and making eight starts. He led the Aggies with 8.0 tackles for loss and was fourth on the team with 61 total takedowns. The Covington, Louisiana, native recorded the second double-digit tackles game of his career with 10 against App State. Cooper impressed against Alabama, tallying eight tackles, 2.0 for loss, and recovered a fumble. As a freshman, Cooper played in all 12 games and was fourth on the team with 58 tackles as he finished the year as an SEC All-Freshman Team honoree.

The number of linebackers on the watch list, 51, is a nod to the storied “51” pro jersey worn by the award’s namesake, Dick Butkus, who was named by NFL Films as the greatest defensive player in football history. The Butkus Award recognizes the best linebackers in football. The award semifinalists are expected to be named Oct. 30 with finalists to follow Nov. 20. The winner will be named on or before Dec. 6. Appearing on the watch list is not a requirement to win the award.