Edwards, a 6-3, 235-pound native of Tampa, Fla., tied for the UNC team lead in tackles last season with 91.
Seven other ACC athletes are on the Butkus Award Watch List: Jon Abbate of Wake Forest, Jon Beason of Miami, Buster Davis of Florida State, KaMichael Hall of Georgia Tech, Vince Hall of Virginia Tech, Brian Toal of Boston College and Anthony Waters of Clemson.
The last ACC player to win the Butkus Award was Maryland's E.J. Henderson in 2002. Past winners from current ACC schools include: E.J. Henderson (2002-Maryland); Dan Morgan (2000-Miami (FL); Marvin Jones (1992-Florida State) and Paul McGowan (1997-Florida State).
The Butkus Award Watch List will be trimmed to 10 semi-finalists on Thursday, October 19. That semi-finalist list will be cut down to three finalists which will be announced via a national teleconference with players, coaches, media members and Butkus Award officials on Thursday, November 9. The winner will be announced Saturday, December 9, 2006 at the Butkus Award Gala in Orlando, FL. The Butkus Award will be presented to the winner by the award's namesake former University of Illinois and Chicago Bear NFL Hall of Fame member, Dick Butkus. The finalists, their coaches and families are invited to attend the Butkus Award Gala festivities including a welcome reception, golf tournament and silent auction.
The independent Butkus Award Selection Committee for the 2006 Butkus Award, comprised of some of the nation's foremost journalists, is solely and exclusively responsible for all voting in the Butkus Award selection process. Additional Watch List candidates may be added in the coming weeks due to outstanding in-season play. Voting for the three finalists and the Butkus Award® winner will be conducted by exclusive confidential ballots of the selection committee.
The Butkus Award is regarded as one of the most elite individual honors in college football. Created in 1985 by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando Inc., the Butkus Award carries the name and support of one of the greatest middle linebackers in football history, Dick Butkus.