To’o To’o named to Butkus Award watch list

Published 5:11 pm Monday, July 20, 2020


CHICAGO – Tennessee sophomore linebacker Henry To’o To’o was named to the Butkus Award Watch List, as announced by the Butkus Foundation on Monday.

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.

The list includes candidates from 44 universities, including 15 players from the Southeastern Conference.

To’o To’o, a native of Sacramento, California, is coming off an impressive freshman season where he recorded 72 tackles after playing in all 13 games while making 12 starts.

He finished second on the team in tackles while ranking second among SEC freshmen and fourth among FBS freshmen.

A 2020 preseason first-team All-SEC selection by Phil Steele, To’o To’o helped lead the Vols during a six-game winning streak to close the 2019 season, including a game-high eight-tackle performance in a victory over Indiana in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.

This marks the second preseason watch list honor for To’o To’o after being named to the Bednarik Award Watch List, as well.

Semifinalists for the Butkus Award are expected to be announced on Nov. 2 with finalists named on Nov. 23. The winner will be announced on or before Dec. 8.

The Butkus Award® is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA) which encompasses college football’s most prestigious awards. NCFAA’s 25 awards have honored more than 800 recipients since 1935. Visit for more information.

2020 Tennessee Football Preseason Honors

Brent Cimaglia, Sr., PK
All-SEC First Team (Athlon, College Football News, Phil Steele)

Eric Gray, So., RB
Doak Walker Award Watch List
All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon)

Velus Jones Jr., Sr., WR/RS
All-SEC Third Team (Athlon, Phil Steele)

Brandon Kennedy, Sr., OL
All-SEC Third Team (Phil Steele)

Cade Mays, Jr., OL
Second-Team All-American (Sporting News)
All-SEC Second Team (Athlon, Phil Steele)

Wanya Morris, So., OL
All-SEC First Team (College Football News)
All-SEC Fourth Team (Phil Steele)

Josh Palmer, Sr., WR
All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon)

Trey Smith, Sr., OL
First-Team All-American (Athlon, Phil Steele, Sporting News)
Second-Team All-American (Walter Camp)
All-SEC First Team (Athlon, College Football News, Phil Steele)

Bryce Thompson, Jr., DB
All-SEC Fourth Team (Athlon, Phil Steele)

Henry To’o To’o, So., LB
Butkus Award Watch List
Bednarik Award Watch List
All-SEC First Team (Phil Steele)
All-SEC Second Team (Athlon) 

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