BOULDER—Senior linebacker Doug Rippy and junior offensive tackle David Bakhtiari were both named to watch lists of national postseason awards on Monday.
Rippy was named to the watch list of the Butkus Award, which will be given to the nation’s top linebacker, while Bakhtiari was named to the watch list of the Rotary Lombardi Award, given to the best lineman or linebacker. Both trophies will be awarded in December.
Rippy led the team with 62 tackles (19 solo) in the first seven games last season before suffering a season ending injury. He had three games with 10 or more tackles and averaged 8.9 tackles per game – tied for the most on the team with Anthony Perkins. The Columbus, Ohio native also finished with three sacks and had two more tackles for a loss. He sacked or assisted with a sack of the quarterback in each of the first four games of 2012.
Colorado has had five players be finalists for the Butkus: Alfred Williams, Ted Johnson, Matt Russell and Jordan Dizon. Williams (1990) and Russell (1996) both won the award while Johnson (1994) and Dizon (2007) were runner-ups.
The award is honored by the Butkus Foundation with the selection process conducted by an independent Butkus Award Selection Committee. The committee is headed by Pro Football Weekly’s Hub Arkush and is comprised of 51 experts, including professional, college and high school scouts, and prominent sports journalists. The award will be presented the week of Dec. 1-4 on the recipient’s campus.
The Lombardi watch list is the second major national award list that Bakhtiari has been named to, as he was also mentioned on the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman) watch list on July 12.
Colorado has never had a player win the Lombardi, but Bryan Stoltenberg was close, as he was one of 10 semifinalists in 1995. Head coaches from all Division I schools, sports media personnel and former winners and finalists of the Rotary Lombardi Award vote on the trophy, which will be presented on Dec. 5 in Houston, Texas.
Bakhtiari was injured in the first contest last year after just seven plays but missed just two games. After he came back in the Ohio State game, he played in all 623 of the remaining offensive plays over the last 10 games of the season, grading out to 84.4 percent. He had 21 great effort blocks, two touchdown blocks, and gave up just two sacks and three quarterback pressures while committing just one penalty all season long. His best game was his initial return against Ohio State where he graded out at over 90 percent.
Rippy joins Bakhtiari, Darragh O’Neill, Gus Handler and Ray Polk as current CU players added to an official watch list for a major postseason award. Polk was added to the watch list for the Ronnie Lott Impact Trophy on May 8, Handler to the Rimington Trophy watch list on July 10 and O’Neill to the Ray Guy watch list on July 11.
Overall, seven CU players have won nine national football trophies with Williams (1990 Butkus), Russell 1996 Butkus), Deon Figures (1992 Thorpe), Chris Hudson (1994 Thorpe), Rashaan Salaam (1994 Heisman, Walter Camp, and Doak Walter), Dan Graham (2001 Mackey) and Mark Mariscal (Ray Guy 2002) picking up hardware.
The Biletnikoff Award will be unveiled Tuesday, followed then by the Davey O’Brien (July 18), Doak Walker Award (July 19) and Walter Camp (July 20). The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award usually announces its initial list in late September.