Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te'o is widely regarded as one of the best linebackers in college football, so it's no surprise that he has been named to the 2012 Butkus Award Watch List. In 13 games last season, Te'o tallied 128 tackles, which was tied for No. 16 overall in the country. Te'o also had 13.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and a forced fumble.
Northwestern Wildcats linebacker David Nwabuisi was also named to the watch list. As a junior in 2011, he totaled 84 tackles, with 8.5 of those going for loss. He also had a sack and two forced fumbles. Jonathan Brown of the Illinois Fighting Illini was tabbed as well. As a sophomore last season, Brown amassed 108 tackles, with 19.5 going for loss. He also picked up six sacks, a forced fumble, an interception and a fumble recovery.