WSU linebacker Jahad Woods named to Butkus Award watch list

Linebacker Jahad Woods was named to the Butkus Award Watch list Monday
Courtesy: WSU Athletics
Linebacker Jahad Woods was named to the Butkus Award Watch list Monday

CHICAGO – Washington State linebacker Jahad Woods was named to the 2020 Butkus Award Watch List, the Butkus Foundation announced Monday.

Woods is one of eight Pac-12 Conference linebackers name to the watch list for the awards given to the nation’s best linebacker. The redshirt-senior is the first Cougar named to the Butkus Award Watch List since Travis Long prior to the 2012 season.

Woods, a two-time All-Pac-12 Conference honorable mention pick, produced one of the best seasons in Washington State history as a redshirt-junior last season. The San Diego native recorded 141 tackles, fourth-most in the country and tied for the fifth-most in WSU single-season history, the most by a Cougar since 1991. Woods also tallied a team-high 10 tackles-for-loss, three sacks, three pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one interception. Woods, the Pac-12’s top returning tackler, recorded 10+ tackle games and finished the season as the Pac-12’s best inside linebacker in pass rush productivity and fourth-best inside linebacker at run stop percentage. Woods capped his 2019 season with a WSU Bowl Game and Cheez-It Bowl Game record 20 tackles against Air Force, tied for the seventh-most in WSU single-game history.

Woods enters 2020 with 287 career tackles and 25.5 tackles-for-loss in 39 career games.

The 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. Semifinalists are expected to be named Nov. 2, finalists Nov. 23, and winners on or before Dec. 8. Appearing on the watch list is not a requirement to win the award. Formed in 1985 and expanded in 2008, the Butkus Award honors linebackers at three levels while supporting causes important to the Butkus family. They include the I Play Clean® initiative promoting training and nutrition instead of performance-enhancing drugs, and the Butkus Takes Heart™ initiative encouraging early cardiovascular screening among adults

Last week, Woods was named to The Bednarik Award Watch List, given to the College Defensive Player of the Year.