FB: National Award Watch

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With the 2009 season now nearly half over, the preseason watch lists for national awards are now being whittled down to semifinalists and finalists, and four Big Ten standouts made the cut this week. Michigan's Obi Ezeh, Michigan State's Greg Jones and Penn State's Sean Lee were among the 16 semifinalists named for the Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker. Named for Hall of Famer and Illinois legend Dick Butkus, eight conference players have earned this award, most recently when Ohio State's James Laurinaitis was the winner in 2007. Nittany Lions quarterback Daryll Clark was one of 10 finalists named for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, presented to the country's top senior signal caller. The Big Ten has never claimed the Unitas Award.

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