Snowden

The Associated Press

Last season, Virginia linebacker Charles Snowden tallied 72 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss and five sacks.

Virginia linebacker Charles Snowden was named to the Butkus Award watch list on Monday. The award honors the nation’s top linebacker.

Snowden joins 50 other players on the list, and he represents the only linebacker on UVa’s roster to make the list. Players from 44 different programs earned spots on the list.

Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons, who was selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, won the honor last season.

As a junior in 2019, Snowden tallied 72 tackles, including 11 tackles for loss and five sacks. At 6-foot-7, Snowden also uses his length to disrupt passing lanes. He broke up four passes in 2019 and 11 passes in 2018.

He also tied for the team-lead with 11 quarterback hurries in 2019. While he didn’t always reach the quarterback, Snowden created havoc at the linebacker position. He’s one of UVa’s most versatile defenders and can be used as both a pass rusher and in coverage.

The linebacker also thrives as a leader within the program. He’s considered one of the vocal leaders on the defense, and he’s expected to be one of the team’s top defensive leaders for the 2020 season. Even during virtual team meetings the past few months, Bronco Mendenhall has raved about Snowden’s leadership ability.

While there’s still tremendous uncertainty about fall college football taking place, if the Cavaliers do play in the fall, they can rely on their linebackers to perform well. Between Snowden, Noah Taylor and Zane Zandier, the Cavaliers return some of the top linebackers in the ACC.

There’s solid depth at the position as well, with Nick Jackson coming to mind as a top youngster.

If UVa plays football in the fall, Snowden will headline Virginia’s most talented position group. He’ll also enter the season with national attention.

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