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Five USC & Washington linebackers make Butkus Award watch list


NCAA Football: Southern California at Utah Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Butkus Award watch list has 10 Pac-12 linebackers on it. Half of them come from the Washington Huskies and the USC Trojans.

Washington has Keishawn Bierria and Azeem Victor. USC has Porter Gustin, Uchenna Nwosu and Cameron Smith. The Huskies and Trojans figure to have among the best defenses in the Pac-12 this season, and these five figure to play a huge part. USC might have the best linebacking corps in college football, but Washington is hardly slouching either.

Arizona State Sun Devils linebacker Koron Crump. ASU is going to need some of their defensive talent to pan out to move back to elite levels. Crump is one of those players who can make the leap

California Golden Bears linebacker Devante Downs. Cal’s defense needs playmakers like Downs to step up and keep Cal steering in the right direction.

Oregon State Beavers linebacker Manase Hungalu. Oregon State is starting to build up their ranks defensively. Hungalu is among the brightest stars.

Stanford Cardinal linebacker Peter Kalambayi. This figures to be a big year for Kalambayi, who is part of a monstrous Stanford defense.

UCLA Bruins linebacker Kenny Young. Young is the most talented backer on a UCLA team brimming with potential.