Daiyan Henley on Butkus Award Watchlist

Henley best WSU linebacker in years, gets national recognition



WSU linebacker Daiyan Henley celebrates after making a play during an NCAA football game against Colorado State, Sep. 17.

ALENA RINEHARDT, Evergreen reporter

WSU linebacker Daiyan Henley, was selected along with 15 other players as a semifinalist for the 2022 Butkus Award this past Tuesday by the Butkus Foundation. 

Founded in 1985, the Butkus Award focuses on acknowledging the best linebackers that play in traditional linebacker form at three levels, while also supporting causes that are important to the Butkus family. 

Some of these include supporting cardiovascular screening for adults and encouraging athletes to train naturally and without performance-enhancing drugs. 

This award is presented annually to the best linebackers in college football and Henley is just one of two semifinalists from the Pac-12 and the first-ever Cougar linebacker to be up for this award in program history. 

The Butkus Award looks to recognize the important role that defensive leaders play and assure that their skills and talent do not go overlooked. 

Originally from Los Angeles, Henley attended University of Nevada where he earned a criminal justice degree. From there he transferred to WSU in January after earning All-Mountain West Conference second-team honors. 

Henley boasts a list of accomplishments, including starting this week off being second in the Pac-12 Conference and No. 15 in the country with 80 tackles. After the win over Colorado State during week three, Henley went on to earn the Bednarik Award, Reese’s Senior Bowl, as well as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week. Earlier this season The Associated Press also named Henley to the Midseason All-America Team.  

Finalists for the Butkus Award will be named on Nov. 21 and the winners of the awards will be named either on or before Dec. 7. 

The winners will be honored at a televised event on Jan. 21, 2023, that will feature many notable alumni from the NFL and will be located at the Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa in Rancho Mirage, California. 

Henley could join a list of recipients of the Butkus Award that includes NFL linebackers Clay Matthews III, Terrell Suggs and Von Miller.