Penn State junior linebacker Brandon Smith has helped the Nittany Lions’ defense rise to another level this season, and he’s been tabbed as one of the top linebackers in the nation for his efforts.
The Butkus Award, the honor given to the nation’s top linebacker, has named Smith to its shortlist of 16 semifinalists.
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) November 1, 2021
Smith has been an anchor in the Lions’ defense this season, helping fill a leadership void without senior defensive tackle PJ Mustipher on the field while still producing to the tune of 52 tackles (31 solo), two sacks, a forced fumble and two passes defended.
Smith has helped the Lions’ defense in allowing just 17 points per game this season, good for second-best in the Big 10.
The other seminfinalists are Alabama’s Christian Harris, Arizona State’s Darien Butler, Cincinnati’s Darrian Beavers, Colorado’s Nate Landman, Georgia’s Nakobe Dean, Iowa’s Jack Campbell, LSU’s Damone Clark, Oklahoma’s Brian Asamoah, Oklahoma State’s Malcolm Rodriquez, Oregon’s Noah Sewell, Rutgers’ Olakunle Fatukasi, Texas’s DeMarvion Overshown, Utah’s Devin Lloyd, Wisconsin’s Leo Chenal and Wyoming’s Chad Muma.
The finalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 22, and the winner will be announced on or before Dec. 7.