In the thick of the projection-heavy time of the offseason, two more Auburn Tigers were named to award watch lists, announced Monday morning. Senior linebacker Tre' Williams and junior tailback Kerryon Johnson were tabbed as preseason candidates for the Butkus Award and the Paul Hornung Award, respectively.
The Butkus Award is annually given to the nation's top linebacker, as voted on by a panel of 51 experts. 51 preseason candidates were selected for the award, with 11 of them coming from the Southeastern Conference.
In 2016, Williams spearheaded the tenacious Auburn defense with 67 tackles in 11 games played. The Mobile, Ala. native also recorded 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Williams will look to become the first Tiger to win the award, as Takeo Spikes and Karlos Dansby were both semifinalists.
Kerryon Johnson's team-leading 11 touchdowns in 2016 yielded the all-around athlete consideration for the Paul Hornung Award. Johnson touted the rock for 182 carries and 895 rushing yards, while contributing in the passing game to the tune of 125 yards on 17 receptions.
Last season, it was the speedy Rudy Ford who served as Auburn's representative on the award's watch list. In 25 career games as a Tiger, Johnson has racked up 2,078 total yards, with 1,103 of those coming on the ground.