Jordan Jenkins and Ramik Wilson are 2014 Butkus Award semi-finalists


Jordan Jenkins and Ramik Wilson claim Butkus Award semi-final spots.

Jordan Jenkins and Ramik Wilson are 2014 Butkus Award semi-finalists. Washington and UCLA also have two semi-finalists.

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Manning the outside linebacker spot for the Dawgs, the 6’5” 235 pound Jenkins has 38 tackles for third on the team. He leads the team with 6.5 tackles for loss, including 3.5 sacks for third on the team.

Wilson, a 6’3” 230 pound inside linebacker, is second on the team and ranks ninth in the SEC with 55 tackles. He has and has 5.5 tackles for loss.

Jenkins, a junior from Hamilton, GA, came to Georgia as a Rivals 4 star recruit in 2012. He played in all 14 games as a freshman, starting six and claiming 31 tackles. He started every game as a sophomore and produced 45 tackles.

Jenkins spoke to the Macon Telegraph’s Seth Emerson in January about his preparation for the 2014 season.

"“[My 2013 on field performance] humbled me more,” Jenkins said. “It made me believe that hard work and dedication is what pays off. It made me really look back to think about the offseason and summer and all the times I could have worked harder, versus sitting in the room, relaxing and playing games and hanging out. It just showed that you need to take advantage of those, and things aren’t going to be given to you. You need to work for them and put in the extra work.”"

A native of Tampa, Wilson arrived in Athens as a Rivals 4 – star recruit in 2011. As a freshman and sophomore, he totaled 10 tackles. But, as a junior in 2013, he led the SEC with 143 tackles, earning First Team All-SEC honors. Wilson also earned the UGA Athletic Achievement Award for exhibiting intense focus and/or displaying a marked improvement in the classroom over the course of the past academic year.

The Butkus honors reflects a new respect for the Georgia defense. Credit for the improved defense goes to Defensive Coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and at SEC media days, Wilson was quick to get the Jeremy Pruitt train rolling.

“Attitude wise, Coach Pruitt is all about business. He’s hard to please and we try our best.”

Presented annually to the top collegiate linebacker in the nation, the Butkus Award is named for legendary NFL Hall of Fame Chicago Bears and University of Illinois two-time All American linebacker Dick Butkus. (Butkus also played center at Illinois.)

The Butkus Foundation will name the finalists on Nov. 24 and winners on Dec. 9.