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Georgia’s Roquan Smith named 2017 Butkus Award finalist

UGA Football: Roquan Smith
Photo: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

ATHENS, Ga. – Georgia junior inside linebacker Roquan Smith has been named one of five finalists for the 2017 Butkus Award, given annually to the nation’s best collegiate linebacker.

Smith, a native of Montezuma, Ga., joins Michigan’s Devin Bush, Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds, Wisconsin’s T.J. Edwards and Clemson’s Dorian O’Daniel as finalists.

The winner of the Butkus Award will be announced on or before December 6. Smith has already been named a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award.

Smith, a midseason All-American, is on pace to lead the Bulldogs in tackles for the second consecutive season with 91 stops through 11 games (8.3 tackles/game) and has one of the team’s eight forced fumbles. He has directed a defense that is ranked as one of the country’s best in Scoring Defense (14.4 pts./game, fourth nationally), Total Defense (276.1 yds./game, fifth nationally), Rushing Defense (105.6 yds./game, sixth nationally) and Pass Defense (170.5 yds./game, 10th nationally).

The seventh-ranked Bulldogs (10-1, 7-1 SEC) travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech (5-5, 4-4 ACC) on Saturday in Bobby Dodd Stadium. ABC will televise the matchup at 12 p.m.

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