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Henry, Williams Named to Watch List for Butkus Award

Henry, Williams Named to Watch List for Butkus Award

CHICAGO – (Release) Two Ole Miss football defensive starters were announced as members of the watch list for the Butkus Award, as announced by the Butkus Foundation Monday.

Lakia Henry and Sam Williams were both included on the watch list for the defensive award that is presented annually to the nation’s best linebackers, at both the collegiate and high school level.

Each watch list contains 51 linebackers, mirroring the legendary number associated with the Award’s namesake Dick Butkus, who was recognized by NFL Films as the best defensive player in football history.

Henry, who has started 18 games the last two seasons at linebacker, is the Rebels’ top returning tackler from 2020. He tallied 62 total tackles and 5.0 tackles for loss last year. Henry also registered two forced fumbles.

The Vidalia, Georgia, native recorded double-digits in his final three games of the season, with a season-high 12 stops in the regular season finale at LSU.

Williams, a preseason All-SEC selection, appeared in all 10 contests last year for Ole Miss, with six starts. He had 40 tackles with a team-high 8.0 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks.

Williams, posted career numbers last season vs. Auburn. The senior from Montgomery, Alabama, tallied a career-high 11 tackles, including 3.0 tackles for loss. He is a member of 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl Top 250 list.

Both Henry and Williams are exercising additional year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Semifinalists are expected to be named Nov. 1, finalists Nov. 22, and winners on or before Dec. 7.

About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn's love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship--and continued as she watched Katie receive three degrees from Ole Miss, culminating with her Pharm D. in 2012. Evelyn, a member of the FWAA, USBWA and the NCBWA, has covered Rebel sports for numerous outlets. In addition to working for The Rebel Walk, Evelyn is a sports writer for a newspaper in Texas.

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