LARAMIE -- Wyoming junior linebacker Chad Muma was named to the prestigious Butkus Award Watch List on Monday. The Butkus Award honors the nation’s best linebackers in the nation.

It kicked off its 37th annual selection process Monday by announcing its collegiate and high school preseason watch lists.

Each watch list contains 51 linebackers, mirroring the legendary “51” pro jersey associated with the Award’s namesake Dick Butkus, who was recognized by NFL Films as the best defensive player in football history. The Collegiate Butkus Award watch list includes candidates from 51 different universities.

Muma made his mark as one of the nation’s top linebackers in 2020. He ranked No. 1 in the Mountain West and No. 3 in the nation in tackles, averaging 11.8 tackles per game.  He also ranked No. 16 in the nation in solo tackles, averaging 5.5 per game.

The junior was selected First Team All-Mountain West by MW head coaches and media in 2020.

He began the 2020 season with a career high 14 total tackles and a career best 10 solo tackles against Nevada in the season opener. Muma added seven tackles in Week 2 vs. Hawai’i, and set a new career tackle best with 18 tackles at Colorado State in Week 3.  He had his third double-figure tackle game of the season at UNLV in Week 4, with 10 total tackles, and added 10 in one half of play at New Mexico. Muma concluded the 2020 season with 13 tackles vs. Boise State.

The High School Butkus Award watch list includes candidates from 51 secondary schools across 26 states, with Texas (6), Georgia (5) and Florida (4) fielding the most candidates.

Semi-finalists are expected to be named Nov. 1, finalists Nov. 22, and winners on or before Dec. 7.

Appearing on the watch list is not a requirement to win the award.

The 2020 Butkus Award winners were:

  • Collegiate: Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame (now with the Cleveland Browns)
  • High School: Prince Kollie, David Crockett, Jonesborough, Tenn. (now at Notre Dame)

Formed in 1985, the Butkus Award honors linebackers at three levels while supporting causes important to the Butkus family. Causes include Butkus Takes Heart™ initiative encouraging early cardiovascular screening among adults, and the I Play Clean® initiative encouraging athletes to train naturally without performance-enhancing drugs.

The Butkus Award is partnering with Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage to celebrate Butkus Award winners. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. Contact the Butkus Foundation for ticket and sponsorship information.

The Butkus Award® is presented by the Butkus Foundation and selected by a 51-member expert panel of coaches, scouts and journalists. The award is part of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. NCFAA’s 25 awards have honored more than 800 recipients since 1935. Visit www.NCFAA.org for more information.

Last week in Las Vegas, Muma was named to the preseason All-Mountain West first team. The junior was also named to the Chuck Bednarik Award watch list this summer.

* University of Wyoming press release

LOOK: Cheyenne Frontier Days 2021 Grand Parades March Through Cheyenne

Four Cheyenne Frontier Days Grand Parades again marched through downtown Cheyenne in 2021, to the delight of thousands of onlookers.

At the parades (July 27, 29, 31), there was an endless array of marching bands, floats, riders on horseback, horse-drawn wagons, and other exhibits too numerous to mention.

The parades alternate with the Frontier Days Pancake Breakfasts which happened on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings of CFD week (July 26, 28, 30) at the Cheyenne Depot Plaza.

- First Cheyenne Frontier Days 2021 Parade Marches Through Cheyenne