My brother, Jon (BigRedIggy), does work for Butkus and provided me this information regarding the selection process:On the surface, that is pretty remarkable. Whatever person or committee is making this list believes that 3 of the top 15 LBs in the country play in Nebraska.
Cool stuff! Thanks for sharing this!My brother, Jon (BigRedIggy), does work for Butkus and provided me this information regarding the selection process:
"It is the selection committee listed here (http://thebutkusaward.com/selectionlist.aspx), although it’s a core group from among the 51 selectors that knows and tracks high school football for recruiting purposes.
Tom Lemming, for one, travels across the country every year talking with coaches, attending combines and the like. From there, it is a ton of networking.
Most of these selectors have been studying football talent for years, so it’s not unusual for them to know who is up and coming at all levels from across the country. Plus, they all study a ton of game film which is made easy now with the online platforms, and they are constantly testing their assumptions with colleagues they know in the local area.
This tends to work because all the high school athletes want a full-ride to a top school, and selectors want to find not just the obvious 5-star who is attending a prestigious college prep school and will receive 20 offers, but also those coveted gems who sometimes get fewer recruiting looks and where you have a fighting chance to recruit them. As certain schools learn, it’s not “stars” that make the star athlete, but the commitment to work hard and keep learning.
It makes for an interesting democratization of talent. It’s very cool to think that a Snodgrass from York, Nebraska can be on the same list as Henry To’oto’o of De La Salle in Concord, California, a USA Today Top 10 team.
Certainly, the elite player from the elite school is going to get more looks, but any talented athlete is going to be noticed by the football recruiting network.
Dick knew all about this network when the Butkus family received the Butkus Award back from the group in Orlando that started it in 1985. That’s why he set up his selectors to be people who recruit football talent for a living. He didn’t want media darlings or sob stories or fan favorites… he wanted truly the best of the best linebackers at all levels. Who better to ask than talent recruiters at all levels of football. Interestingly, all of them participate without compensation… they help us because they respect Dick Butkus and love the game."
That's amazingly impressive given the population size of each state.
Florida: 21 million
Georgia: 10.5 million
Texas: 28 million
Nebraska: 1.9 Million
Percent of U.S. population by state:
Percentage wise, Florida and Georgia exceeded at a rate of 3x, Texas is under by .69x, and Nebraska exceeded by 10x!