Notre Dame LB Nyles Morgan named to Butkus Award watch list

Mike Vorel
South Bend Tribune

Nyles Morgan has yet to prove himself as Notre Dame's starting middle linebacker.

He can begin to do that against Texas on Sept. 4. But regardless of results, he's already earning accolades.

Notre Dame's 6-foot-1, 245-pound junior is one of 51 players on the collegiate Butkus Award watch list, which was announced Tuesday. The award honors college football's premier linebacker.

Morgan played in 12 games, starting four of them, as a freshman in 2014, racking up 47 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss. He made 17 tackles with a forced fumble last season in a back up role behind graduate student Joe Schmidt.

Former Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith, who was drafted in the second round by the Dallas Cowboys, was the collegiate Butkus Award winner in 2015.

Notre Dame's three 2017 linebacker commits — David Adams, Pete Werner and Drew White — were named to the Butkus Award's high school watch list.

Linebacker Nyles Morgan runs drills during Notre Dame spring football practice on Friday inside the Loftus Center at ND. (Tribune Photo/BECKY MALEWITZ)