Taylor named to Butkus Award watch list

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Tennessee redshirt senior linebacker Darrell Taylor was named to the 35th annual Butkus Award Watch List, as announced Monday by the Butkus Foundation.

The Butkus Award, named in honor of hall of fame linebacker Dick Butkus, has honored the nation's top collegiate linebacker since 1985.

Taylor is the first Tennessee linebacker to be included on the Butkus Watch List since Jalin Reeves-Maybin in 2016.

Taylor's eight sacks in 2018 are the most of any returning player in the SEC. The Hopewell, Va., native added 11.0 tackles for loss and 36 total stops as an outside linebacker. Taylor was one of only two Power 5 players to notch two three-sack games in 2018. He had a three-sack game at No. 2 Georgia, adding a pair of forced fumbles against the Bulldogs. Additionally, Taylor notched four sacks in the 24-7 upset win over No. 11 Kentucky, becoming just the third Vol with four sacks in a game all-time. He was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week and won several national defensive awards following his performance against the Wildcats.

Tennessee has had two finalists for the Butkus Award in Keith DeLong in 1988 and Raynoch Thompson in 1999.

The Tennessee Volunteer football team kicks off year two of the Jeremy Pruitt era at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 31 when Georgia State comes to Neyland Stadium. For more information on tickets for the 2019 season, including the Vol Pass, visit AllVols.com.

Tennessee 2019 Preseason Watch List Selections
Jarrett Guarantano – Maxwell Award
Darrell Taylor – Chuck Bednarik Award, Butkus Award
Ty Chandler – Doak Walker Award
Dominick Wood-Anderson – John Mackey Award
Brandon Kennedy – Rimington Trophy