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Rutgers LB Tyreem Powell named to Butkus Award watch list

The Scarlet Knights get another linebacker on the list for 2023.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 19 Penn State at Rutgers Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In a year where Rutgers was thin at linebacker and needed a player to step up, Tyreem Powell became that guy.

On Thursday, Powell was named to the Butkus Award watch list, given to the nation’s top linebacker each year.

In 2022, Powell totaled 71 tackles, six for loss, and three sacks with four passes defended. He did not record double-digit tackles in any game last season but logged at least four in each contest. Against Michigan State, Powell set a season-high with nine tackles. He recorded all three sacks in the first five games of the season.

Powell was also recognized by Phil Steele by being selected to the Shrine Bowl 1000 and being named Preseason Fourth Team All-Big Ten. Powell now finds himself on the Butkus Award watch list after Olakunle Fatukasi was named in back-to-back years in 2020 and 2021.

All of a sudden, a group that was thin last year has a chance to be a strength for Rutgers. Powell leads a group that includes Deion Jennings and Mohamed Toure, who returns after suffering a season-ending injury last year. Rutgers will also get Moses Walker back after tearing his ACL at the beginning of his freshman year.

Powell and the Scarlet Knights will open their season on Sept. 3 at SHI Stadium against Northwestern.