ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia senior Monty Rice has been named one of five finalists for the Butkus Award, which is given to the nation’s best linebacker.

Rice, a native of Huntsville, Ala., is the only finalist from the Southeastern Conference on the list.  The winner will be announced on or before December 22.

While former Bulldog and current New York Giant Tae Crowder was a semifinalist for the collegiate honor in 2019, former Georgia linebacker and current Chicago Bear Roquan Smith won the 2017 Butkus Award.

Rice has started eight of nine games this year and 29 in his career.  The 2020 four-time team captain is second on the squad with 49 stops, including four tackles for loss and a sack.  Rice has also forced two fumbles and recovered another.

Anchored by Rice in the middle, the Bulldogs lead the nation in Rushing Defense allowing just 69.3 yards per game and is atop the conference in Total Defense allowing just 322.8 yards per contest.

The No. 9 Bulldogs (7-2 SEC) play host to Vanderbilt (0-9 SEC) on Dooley Field in Sanford Stadium this Saturday.  SEC Network will televise the game at 12 p.m.