Linebacker Tom Wort was the lone member on the 51-man preseason Butkus Award Watch List, given to the nation’s best linebackers in honor of No. 51, Dick Butkus.
Center Ben Habern, left guard Gabe Ikard and linebacker Corey Nelson are on the Lombardi Watch List, awarded to the best college lineman/linebacker.
Wort is coming off an honorable mention All-Big 12 season in which he recorded 71 tackles, including 3.5 sacks, a pair of interceptions and pass breakups and a fumble recovery in 12 starts.
Habern is back and healthy off minor offseason shoulder surgery and managed to rack up 39 knockdowns on 391 snaps despite missing five games with a broken wrist in 2011.
Ikard is the only returning first team All-Big 12 selection out of these four and did so by racking up 88 knockdowns on 860 snaps while working at left guard and sliding over to center in Habern’s absence.
A 6-foot-1, 219-pound junior, Nelson was an honorable mention All-Big 12 pick after he started 11 of 13 games and brought home 60 tackles, including 8.5 for loss and 5.5 sacks, while also breaking up six passes.
Semifinalists for the Butkus Award will be named Oct. 22, finalists Nov. 22 and winners will be notified on or before Dec. 4, while the 43rd Rotary Lombardi Award winner will be announced on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 at The Hobby Center in Houston, Texas.
The Sooners now have 16 players on a group of preseason watch lists that include these two, plus the Bednarik, Rimington, Maxwell, Outland, Nagurski, Thorpe and Groza Awards.
Unveiling of the Biletnikoff Award takes place Tuesday, followed by the final three days rounding out preseason lists.
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