TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Redshirt sophomore Derwin James was named to the Paul Hornung Award watch list Monday morning, while linebackers Jacob Pugh and Matthew Thomas earned Butkus Award watch list honors as the nation’s top linebackers.
James is coming off a 2016 season that saw him play just two games before injury, but Sports Illustrated named him the nation’s top player earlier this month.
Last week, James has been named to watch lists honoring the nation’s top player (Maxwell), top defensive player (Bednarik and Nagurski), and top defensive back (Thorpe).
Named after the former Notre Dame and Green Bay Packers star, the Paul Hornung Award presented by Texas Roadhouse recognizes the most versatile player in the country and has been awarded since 2010.
Thomas was previously named to the Bednarik Award watch list as the nation’s top defensive player and is FSU’s leading returning tackler with 77 in 2016. Pugh, a senior, recorded 43 tackles in 2016, with six tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.
Thomas and Pugh look to join Paul McGowan (1987) and Marvin Jones (1992) as previous Butkus Award winners from FSU. The Butkus Award has been given out annually since 1985, and has been awarded by The Butkus Foundation since 2008.
Preseason Watch Lists:
Bednarik (Defensive Player of the Year): Derwin James, Tarvarus McFadden, Derrick Nnadi, Matthew Thomas
Maxwell (Player of the Year): Deondre Francois, Derwin James
Allstate AFCA Good Works Team (Community Service): Mavin Saunders
Rimington (Center): Alec Eberle
Mackey (Tight End): Ryan Izzo
Lou Groza (Kicker): Ricky Aguayo
Outland (Interior Lineman): Alec Eberle, Derrick Nnadi
Nagurski (Defensive Player of the Year): Derwin James, Tarvarus McFadden, Derrick Nnadi, Josh Sweat
Thorpe (Defensive Back): Derwin James, Tarvarus McFadden
Hornung (Most Versatile): Derwin James
Butkus (Linebacker): Jacob Pugh and Matthew Thomas