NC State senior Nate Irving is one of 15 semifinalists for the 26th Annual Butkus Award which will be given to the nation's top linebacker.
"This award is about honoring linebackers, and reminding them that they have a responsibility to serve as role models and give back to society," said Dick Butkus, the legendary Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker.
The 15 semifinalists are: Akeem Ayers, UCLA, Bruce Carter, North Carolina, Mason Foster, Washington, Mario Harvey, Marshall, Don’t’a Hightower, Alabama, Justin Houston, Georgia, Nate Irving, North Carolina State, Greg Jones, Michigan State, Luke Kuechly, Boston College, Travis Lewis, Oklahoma, Casey Matthews, Oregon, Von Miller, Texas A&M, Keenan Robinson, Texas, Sean Spence, Miami (Fla.), and Manti Te’o, Notre Dame.
Irving, a redshirt senior from Wallace, North Carolina, has helped lead NC State to a 5-2 record and a 2-1 mark in conference play. The 6-foot-1, 231-pounder has totaled 52 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, and 3.5 sacks.