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Herd’s Yates put on Butkus watch list

HUNTINGTON, W.

Friday, August 24, 2001

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – There will be more than opposing offensive linemen watching Max Yates this fall.

Joining the list of Yates watchers will be the Watch List for the Butkus Award which is presented annually to the top college linebacker .

Yates, the 6-foot-3, 235-pound Marshall Thundering Herd senior, joins a long list of candidates that includes Ohio State’s Joe Cooper and Matt Wilhelm, Ohio’s Matt Weikert, Florida’s Travis Carroll, Andra Davis, and Mike Nattiel, Notre Dame’s Rocky Boiman, Florida State’s Bradley Jennings and Kendyll Pope, LSU’s Trev Faulk, West Virginia’s Grant Riley, and Nebraska’s Randy Stella.

Northern Illinois’ Larry Williams is the only other player from the MAC to be placed on the Watch List.

The SEC has the most nominees with 12 and the Big Ten had 11. The Big 12 had seven, the Pac-10 and ACC six each, Big East and Conference USA five apiece, the WAC four, the Sun Belt three, and two independents.

Yates is one of 14 linebackers making their second appearance on the Watch List.

The total of 69 preliminary candidates will be narrowed to 10 by Oct. 18 and cut to just three finalists by Nov. 8. The winner will be announced Dec. 7 at the Butkus Award Gala at the Hard Rock Cafe at Universal Studios CityWalk in Orlando.

Last year’s winner was Dan Morgan of Miami, Fla.

A native of Newport News, Va., Yates was the Herd’s leading tackler with 115 stops last season and was a first team All-MAC selection. He recorded double figures in tackles on five occasions including a career-high 18 tackles against Toledo.

Yates had 10 tackles for a loss, two quarterback sacks, and two interceptions. He was named the MAC’s defensive player of the week three times.

The award was created in 1985 by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando, Inc. The Butkus Award carries the name and support of one of the greatest linebackers of all-time, Dick Butkus, a Hall of Famer at the University of Illinois and with the Chicago Bears in the NFL.

The nomination is the second for Yates this year. He has also been placed on the Rotary Lombardi Award which goes to the outstanding lineman in the country.