Clovis West (Fresno, Calif.) senior Caleb Kelly has been named the high school Butkus Award winner as the nation’s top prep linebacker.
Kelly had 115 tackles this season, including 23 tackles for loss, 21 sacks and three forced fumbles.
Lyndell Wilson of Carver (Montgomery, Ala.) was second. Other finalists were Ben Davis of Gordo (Ala.), Mique Juarez of North High (Torrance, Calif.); and Maxs Tupai of Murray (Salt Lake City).
Kelly received his award during a surprise event a team meeting that includes the presentation from Dick Butkus and his son, Matt.
“In what was one of the best prep linebacking classes in a decade, including many very deserving candidates, Caleb Kelly emerged from a tight race as the winner,” the Butkus Award said in a statement. “Kelly plays the game very fast, with a terrific closing burst to the quarterback. He is a strong, face-up tackler with outstanding cover awareness and has distinguished himself as a very productive playmaker against the run and pass vs. top competition. Kelly is ready to make an immediate impact at the next level.”
Last year’s high school Butkus Award winner was Malik Jefferson of Poteet (Mesquite, Texas), who now plays for the University of Texas.
The selection committee is comprised of football coaches, recruiters, talent scouts and journalists who study football talent year-round.