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Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal a finalist for Butkus Award
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Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal a finalist for Butkus Award

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University of Wisconsin seniors Jake Ferguson, Tyler Beach, Caesar Williams and Collin Wilder speak to the media after the Badgers defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers 35-28 on Senior Day, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.

University of Wisconsin junior inside linebacker Leo Chenal is a finalist for the Butkus Award, which is given annually to the top linebacker in college football.

Chenal is the No. 18 Badgers’ leading tackler with 92 total tackles, and his 10.1 tackles per game ranks ninth in the FBS. He missed the first two games of the season after contracting COVID-19. Chenal has 15½ tackles for loss, with his 1.6 per game average ranking third in the FBS. He’s recorded 6½ sacks, four quarterback hits and two forced fumbles.

Chenal is the second highest graded linebacker in the FBS, per PFF, with a 91.5 defensive grade. 

Cincinnati’s Darrian Beavers, Georgia’s Nakobe Dean, LSU’s Damone Clark, Utah’s Devin Lloyd and Wyoming’s Chad Muma join Chenal as finalists. The winner will be announced on or before Dec. 7, per the Butkus Award’s website.

UW has never had a player win the Butkus Award as a collegiate player, but former UW linebacker and current Pittsburgh Steeler T.J. Watt won the award for the professional ranks last season.


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