UConn’s Jackson Mitchell named to Butkus Award watch list

Ridgefield’s Jackson Mitchell, a junior at UConn, has been named to the watch list for The 2022 Butkus Award, given annually to the nation’s top collegiate linebacker.

Mitchell, a New Haven Register/GameTimeCT All-State selection as a senior at Ridgefield High School, is one of 51 players from 43 schools named to the watch list for the award, now in its 38th year. Named in honor of the legendary Chicago Bears linebacker, the Butkus Award focuses on recognizing linebackers who consistently play off the ball on their feet in a two-point stance in traditional linebacker form.

Mitchell, an All-FCIAC selection in high school, started all 12 games for UConn last season, and led the team in tackles with 120 and added 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and recorded three forced fumbles, one interception and two pass breakups.

The 6-foot-2 UConn junior ranked among the top 15 players in the country in total tackles, ranked fourth in assisted tackles (73), and his 10.0 tackles per game ranked 11th in the nation.

Mitchell’s top games of the 2021 season including a career-high 16 tackles at Army and 15 tackles and a half-sack against Purdue. He also recorded 14 tackles and added a pass breakup against Holy Cross.

The Butkus Award watch list is guided by a 51-member expert panel of coaches, scouts and journalists. The award semifinalists are expected to be named on Oct. 31, with finalists to follow on Nov. 21. The winner will be named on or before Dec. 7 and will be honored at a televised event on Jan. 21, 2023.