The University of Tennessee's linebacker tandem of Kevin Simon and Kevin Burnett were named to the Butkus Award preseason checklist yesterday.
Simon, who is slated for the middle spot this season as a junior, returned from injury last year to lead the Vols in tackles with 115 (79 solo, 36 assists).
Burnett, a senior from Compton, Calif., recorded 90 tackles last season while earning second team All-SEC honors after also missing most of the 2002 campaign with a knee injury.
Of the 65 Butkus candidates on this year's preseason watch list, Burnett and Simon are two of the seven players chosen from the SEC.
The Butkus Award Watch List will be trimmed to 10 semifinalists Oct.14 before three finalists are announced Nov. 11. The winner will be named Dec. 10.