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UCLA Football's Eric Kendricks Wins The Butkus Award - Recognized as NCAA Top Linebacker

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The senior was presented with his award today at practice, recognizing his achievements on the field.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

UCLA Football's Senior Linebacker Eric Kendricks received the Butkus Award today at practice, over Miami's Denzel Perryman, Notre Dame's Jaylon Smith, and UW's Hao'oli Kikaha.  Dick Butkus was at practice today to present the award to Kendricks:

Trophy looks pretty good:

Kendricks is the first Bruin to win the Butkus Award, and the 4th in Pac-12 history.  When choosing a winner, the Butkus committee looks for the following:

Selectors are asked to recognize the qualities that defined Butkus’ career, heavily factoring the following five traits: toughness (physicality and mental perseverance), on-field leadership (intimidating presence and respected tone-setter), competitiveness (intensity, football temperament and relentless effort), football character (work ethic, drive and determination) and most fundamentally, linebacking skills (instincts, tackling, filling, angles, balance, knee bend, blitzing, shedding, playmaking and cover skills), especially in critical situations.

Kendricks tied for the league lead in tackles this year and is now the all-time UCLA leading tackler.

Just a reminder, this same guy was not named to the Pac-12 first team on defense.

The only downside to this award is that it was presented at practice instead of at the College Football Awards Show this Thursday on ESPN. It would have been great to have Kendricks receive his award on a national stage in front of a national TV audience.

Congratulations again to Eric Kendricks.

Go Bruins.