ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia junior linebacker Nakobe Dean has been named one of six finalists for the 2021 Butkus Award given to the nation’s best collegiate linebacker, according to an announcement by the Butkus Foundation.


Dean, a native of Horn Lake, Miss., is one of two finalists from the Southeastern Conference for the 37th awarding of the honor.  The winner will be announced on or before Dec. 7.


While Dean was a semifinalist for the collegiate award in 2020 and the winner of the high school Butkus Award in 2018, former Bulldog and current Tennessee Titan Monty Rice was a Butkus Award finalist in 2020.  In addition, former Bulldog and current Chicago Bear Roquan Smith won the 2017 collegiate Butkus Award.


Dean is the second-leading tackler for the No. 1 Bulldogs this season with 50 stops, including a team-leading seven tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks.  Starting all 11 games this season as the middle of Georgia’s top-ranked defense, he has also forced a fumble, has two interceptions, including a 50-yard pick-six versus Florida, and three pass break-ups.  Dean is also a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award and Wuerffel Trophy and has been named to the 2021 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.


The Bulldogs (11-0, 8-0 SEC) travel to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech (3-8, 2-6 ACC) on Saturday.  ABC will televise the matchup at noon.