Taiwan Jones is a former Detroit News Blue Chip player. (Dale G. Young / Detroit News)
The Butkus Award, named after the Hall of Famer from the Chicago Bears and the University of Illinois, is presented annually to the nationís top linebacker in college football.
The preseason watch list for this yearís award includes Michigan Stateís Taiwan Jones and Michiganís Jake Ryan.
Jones, a senior from Anchor Bay High, had 67 tackles last season, including seven for losses. He was No. 8 on The Detroit News Dream Team list in 2011.
Ryan, a senior from Westlake, Ohio, had 30 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss last season, despite starting just five games after recovering from offseason knee surgery.
The 2013 Butkus Award winner was C.J. Mosley of Alabama.