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Four Sooners Make Butkus, Lombardi Watch Lists

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Four Sooners added to Lombardi and Butkus Award watch lists on Monday as OU players continue to haul in preseason accolades. Four Sooners added to Lombardi and Butkus Award watch lists on Monday as OU players continue to haul in preseason accolades.
NORMAN, Oklahoma -

The preseason college football awards watch lists have been kind to Oklahoma the past week and Monday proved one of the best hauls yet.

The Sooners had four more player named to watch lists when the Butkus Award and Rotary Lombardi Award lists were sent out Monday afternoon.

OU linebacker Tom Wort was named to the Butkus watch list, while Ben Habern, Gabe Ikard and Corey Nelson were all announced on the Lombardi list.

Wort earned his nomination for the Butkus, which is given annually the nation's premier linebacker, just days after he was listed as a candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Award on Thursday. The junior started 12 games at middle linebacker in 2011, earning honorable mention All-Big 12 honors after tallying 71 tackles, 3.5 sacks, two interceptions, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.

Semifinalists for the Butkus Award will be announced on Oct. 22.

Oklahoma is one of two Big 12 schools to have at least three players on the Lombardi Award watch list.

Despite missing five games in 2011 because of an arm injury, Habern finished the year with 39 knockdowns on 391 snaps. Habern has started 30 games in his time in Norman, ranking second only behind Landry Jones, on the OU roster. Habern earned his third nomination in the past six days after being named to the Rimington Award list Tuesday and the Outland Trophy list on Thursday.

Joining Habern on the Lombardi list – and the Outland list – is Ikard. Ikard started all 13 of Oklahoma's 2011 contests, earning third-team All-America accolades from the Associated Press and Yahoo!, as well as receiving first-team All-Big 12 honors and second-team Academic All-America recognition. The junior started seven games at center for an injured Habern and six games at left guard.

Nelson is making the first watch list appearance of his career after starting 11 games last season. Nelson was named honorable mention All-Big 12 by the AP and the coaches. The junior was second on the team with 8.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Nelson's sack number marked the second-best single-season sack total by an OU linebacker in Sooner football history. The Dallas native also finished the year with six pass break ups and one fumble recovery.

The Lombardi Award will be announced on Dec. 5 at The Hobby Center in Houston.

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