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Justin Phillips makes Butkus Award preseason watch list

The senior is on the radar for the top linebacker in college football.

NCAA Football: Kansas at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Phillips has been named to the Dick Butkus Award watch list. The senior linebacker is among 50 making the list. Others making the list from the Big 12 are Oklahoma’s Caleb Kelly, Texas’ Gary Johnson and TCU’s Ty Summers. He’ll have to outshine his Big 12 foes on the list when Oklahoma State faces them if he wants to take home the award.

The Butkus Award is given to the best linebacker in college football. Phillips has also made the Bednarik Award watch list.

He was the winner of Oklahoma State’s Leslie O’Neal award in 2017 after a season with 64 tackles.

Phillips is set to be the leader on a defense that is headed by new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles.