July 14, 2014 - 5:57pm
Senior linebackers Mike Orakpo and David Mayo were named to preseason award watch lists.
Orakpo was named to the 2014 preseason Butkus award watch list. Orakpo is one of 51 linebackers on the list, with 50 players represented from FBS programs. The Butkus award recognizes the nation's top linebacker. Alabama's C.J. Mosley, drafted in the first-round of the 2014 NFL Draft, won the award last year.
Orakpo was seventh in total sacks in the Sun Belt Conference and 18th in tackles per game. Orakpo averaged 5.9 tackles per game, finishing with 71 total. He led the Bobcats with 4.5 sacks.
Mayo was named to the 2014 Rotary Lombardi watch list, an award that recognizes the nation's best down lineman. There are 123 athletes from 76 universities represented on the list, which is updated during the year. The Lombardi watch list is limited to down linemen on offense and defense. Linebackers must not line up farther than five yards deep from the line of scrimmage to qualify.
Mayo averaged 8.9 tackles per game last season, the fourth-highest average in the conference. He picked up 63 individual tackles in 10 games to lead the team.