BATON ROUGE – Put his name next to LSU greats like Glenn Dorsey, Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu.
Junior Devin White of Springhill has become the first LSU player to win the prestigious Dick Butkus Award that goes to the nation's top linebacker.
He follows Dorsey, a defensive tackle who won the Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi and Lott awards for his dominating play in the 2007 national championship season for the Tigers, as well as Peterson, who won the Thorpe and Bednarik awards in 2010, and Mathieu, who won the Bednarik Award in 2011.
White was presented the 34th Butkus Award on Tuesday night in the team room at Tiger Stadium by none other than Matt Butkus, son of the legendary Chicago Bears linebacker out of Illinois in the 1960s and early '70s for whom the award is named. White became the first LSU player to win any national award since wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. took home the Paul Hornung Award in 2013.
"Devin is a fantastic example of hard work and dedication," LSU coach Ed Orgeron tweeted Tuesday. "And a great LSU Tiger."
A first team All-Southeastern Conference linebacker by the league coaches and by the Associated Press, White finished second in the SEC in tackles with 115 and was No. 10 in the league in tackles for loss with 12 in 2018. He finished the regular season with a career-high 17 tackles and four stops for loss with a sack and a forced fumble in the Tigers' seven-overtime, 74-72 loss at Texas A&M. White was twice named SEC defensive player of the week in 2018 after setting a league mark in 2017 by being named that four times when he led the SEC with 133 tackles.
White beat out finalists Josh Allen of Kentucky, Devin Bush of Michigan, Tre Lamar of Clemson and Dylan Moses, a Baton Rouge native at Alabama to claim the trophy.
A 2016 signee out of North Webster High in Springhill as a fullback, White has 278 career tackles in his three seasons with 29 for losses and 8.5 sacks along with four fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles and an interception.
A projected first round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft should he decide to leave LSU a year early, White plans to play for the No. 11 Tigers (9-3) in the Fiesta Bowl when they meet No. 8 Central Florida (12-0) at noon on Jan. 1 on ESPN.
Previous Butkus Award Winners:
2017 - Roquan Smith, Georgia
2016 - Reuben Foster, Alabama
2015 - Jaylon Smith, Notre Dame
2014 - Eric Kendricks, UCLA
2013 - C.J. Mosley, Alabama
2012 - Manti Te'o, Notre Dame
2011 - Luke Kuechly, Boston College
2010 - Von Miller, Texas A&M
2009 - Rolando McClain, Alabama
2008 - Aaron Curry, Wake Forest
2007 - James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
2006 - Patrick Willis, Ole Miss
2005 - Paul Posluszny, Penn State
2004 - Derrick Johnson, Texas
2003 - Teddy Lehman, Oklahoma
2002 - E.J. Henderson, Maryland
2001 - Rocky Calmus, Oklahoma
2000 - Dan Morgan, Miami
1999 - LaVar Arrington, Penn State
1998 - Chris Claiborne, USC
1997 - Andy Katzenmoyer, Ohio State
1996 - Matt Russell, Colorado
1995 - Kevin Hardy, Illinois
1994 - Dana Howard, Illinois
1993 - Trev Alberts, Nebraska
1992 - Marvin Jones, Florida State
1991 - Erick Anderson, Michigan
1990 - Alfred Williams, Colorado
1989 - Percy Snow, Michigan State
1988 - Derrick Thomas, Alabama
1987 - Paul McGowan, Florida State
1986 - Brian Bosworth, Oklahoma
1985 - Brian Bosworth, Oklahoma