Kentucky’s Trevin Wallace Named to Butkus Award Watch List

UK Athletics Contributed

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky junior inside linebacker Trevin Wallace has been named to the 2023 Butkus Award Watch List, it was announced Thursday. He is one of 51 linebackers on the list, a nod to the storied “51” pro jersey worn by the award’s namesake, Dick Butkus, who was named by NFL Films as the greatest defensive player in football history. The Butkus Award recognizes the best linebackers in football.  

Wallace, a 6-foot-2, 244-pounder and native of Jesup, Georgia, saw action in 12 games with six starts last season as a true sophomore for the Wildcats. He totaled 54 tacklesfifth-most on the team, with 5.5 tackles for lossthird-most on the team, and 2.5 sacksAdditionally, he led the team with two interceptions, his first career pick coming against South Carolina. His second one was in the win over Louisville as he intercepted a pass in the third quarter, returning it 19 yards. It set up Will Levis’ three-yard touchdown pass to Barion Brown. 


Wallace is majoring in consumer economics & family financial counseling 


The award semifinalists are expected to be named Oct. 30 with finalists to follow Nov. 20. The winner will be named on or before Dec. 6. Appearing on the watch list is not a requirement to win the award.  

All 2023 Butkus Award winners will be honored at a televised event in Jan. 2024. BTN (the Big Ten Network) aired the event last season, featuring Butkus and numerous noted NFL Alumni. To watch the show online via YouTube, click here.  

Founded in 1985, the Butkus Award honors linebackers at three levels while supporting causes important to the Butkus family. Causes include the Butkus Takes Heart™ initiative encouraging early cardiovascular screening among adults, and the I Play Clean® initiative encouraging athletes to train naturally without performance-enhancing drugs.  

A 51-member expert panel of coaches, scouts, and journalists guides the selection process. Past winners of the collegiate award include such greats as Patrick Willis, Von Miller, Luke Kuechly, Devin White, Roquan Smith and many more. The Butkus Award is increasingly focused on recognizing linebackers who consistently play off the ball on their feet in a two-point stance in traditional form.  

The Butkus Awards will be unveiling a new trophy design for this year’s recipients. Designed by renowned sculptor George Lundeen, whose works include the Red Grange and Dick Butkus statues outside Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois.  

The watch list for the 2023 Butkus Award for high school players will be released later this month. The Butkus Award watch list will be posted on the new Butkus Award website,, powered by American Eagle, a global website development and digital marketing agency. 


Instituted in 1985, The Butkus Award® is one of the elite individual honors, originally given each year to one player in college football: the most impactful linebacker in the game. 


The Wildcats begin the 2023 season begins Sept. 2 in Kroger Field against Ball State. The Wildcats’ first three games of the season will be at home (vs. EKU on Sept. 9 and vs. Akron on Sept. 16). UK’s SEC home opener will be Sept. 30 vs. Florida.