'Bama's McClain wins Butkus Award

'Bama's McClain wins Butkus Award

Published Dec. 8, 2009 12:19 p.m. ET

Associated Press
December 8, 2009; 1:26 p.m.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - No. 1 Alabama's Rolando McClain has won the Butkus Award as college football's top linebacker.

He was presented the award Tuesday morning in a surprise visit by Dick Butkus, a Hall of Fame linebacker and the award's namesake. McClain was only told to come to coach Nick Saban's office for media interviews.

The junior is the leader of the nation's top scoring defense and helped guide the Crimson Tide to a Southeastern Conference championship and a spot in the BCS national title game against No. 2 Texas.

The other finalists were Florida's Brandon Spikes, Missouri's Sean Weatherspoon, South Carolina's Eric Norwood and Texas' Sergio Kindle.

The only other Tide player to win the Butkus was Derrick Thomas in 1988.