White voted LSU’s first Butkus winner
Devin White always said he wanted to leave LSU known as the Tigers’ best linebacker of all-time.
Tuesday he made a strong case when was named the winner of the Butkus Award, which each year is presented to college football’s best linebacker.
He’s the first LSU player to win the award in the 34 years it’s been presented.
White went to LSU out of Springhill better known as a star running back at North Webster High School, but then-head coach Les Miles convinced him early in his career that his future was at linebacker.
Apparently it was a good choice as the national award was presented to him Tuesday by Matt Butkus, son of the trophy’s namesake, legendary Chicago Bears’ linebacker Dick Butkus.
Other finalists for the award were Kentucky’s Josh Allen, Michigan’s Devin Bush, Clemson’s Tre Lamar and Baton Rouge native Dylan Moses of Alabama.
White is the first LSU player to win a national award since Odell Beckham Jr. won the Paul Hornung Award in 2013.
White is a junior, although he is expected to leave school after this season for the NFL draft. He will, however, play in the Tigers’ Fiesta Bowl game against Central Florida on Jan. 1.
His 115 tackles this season makes him the seventh LSU player to have back-to-back seasons with 100-plus tackles. He’s coming off his career-best night against Texas A&M, when he made 17 tackles — four for loss — including a sack and a forced fumble.
Last year he set a Southeastern Conference record when he was named the league’s defensive player of the week four times.
In his career, White has 278 career tackles — 29 for loss — and 81⁄2 sacks. He has eight takeaways — four fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and an interception.