It’s a big day for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Butkus Award. 2021 commit, Prince Kollie, from Tennessee has won the High School Butkus Award. The man he is replacing on the the Notre Dame roster, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, won this year’s college award — so this is very much a Notre Dame thing.
Former Irish greats Manti Te’o and Jaylon Smith both won the High School Butkus AND the collegiate Butkus Award.
Per a press release from the Butkus Foundation:
PRINCE KOLLIE OF DAVID CROCKETT HIGH SCHOOL WINS NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL BUTKUS AWARD®
JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. – (December 21, 2020) – Prince Kollie, a Senior at David Crockett High School, has received the Butkus Award® honoring the nation’s top high school linebacker. The award was presented during a surprise virtual presentation by linebacker legend Dick Butkus and his son Matt.
The 6-1, 210 lb. inside linebacker was a highly versatile player for the 9-3 David Crockett Pioneers, having also played outside linebacker and safety on defense, and wide receiver, running back, tight end and quarterback on offense. He finished the 2020 football season with 109 tackles, 59 solo, two sacks and an interception, while rushing for 1,562 yards and scored 26 touchdowns, earning him a state Mr. Football honor which is sponsored by the Tennessee Titans. The four-star recruit has committed to Notre Dame, which today announced its third collegiate Butkus Award winner, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
“Prince Kollie is a humble young man who puts others before himself. He canceled an out-of-state recruiting trip to support a freshman teammate who experienced a terrible accident. Not only did the senior captain call off his visit, but he rallied the rest of his teammates,” said Kevin Ramsey, David Crockett assistant coach.
The committee said: “Kollie is an exceptional athlete with explosive striking ability and was a force to be reckoned with, seldom leaving the field. High-impact, knockback tackles defined his game and made him the focal point of opponents. For as outstanding of a football player as he is, he is more beloved by teammates for his compassion as a leader and in the community for his contributions away from the field.”
Finishing second was Chief Borders, Heard County, Franklin, Ga. Other finalists included: Barrett Carter, North Gwinnett, Suwanee, Ga; Chaz Chambliss, Carrollton, Ga; and Deontae Lawson, Mobile Christian, Mobile, Ala.
The Butkus Award® selection committee is comprised of 51 football coaches, recruiters, talent scouts and journalists who study football talent yearlong. Selectors are asked to recognize qualities that defined Butkus’ career: toughness, on-field leadership, competitiveness, football character and linebacking skills. Selectors and criteria are posted at www.thebutkusaward.com.
The 2019 High School Butkus Award winner was Justin Flowe of Upland, Calif, (now Oregon).
The Butkus Award® is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization which advances health and wellness through special initiatives. This includes the I Play Clean® program encouraging athletes to play using their natural ability, and the Butkus Takes Heart™ program encouraging preventive heart scans and screening among adults.