Payton Wilson has earned the top honor for college linebackers. Wilson was announced as the winner of the 2023 Butkus Award, annually given to the top linebacker in the nation.

The Butkus Award selection committee focuses on qualities that defined Dick Butkus’ career: toughness, on-field leadership, competitiveness, football character and linebacking skills.

Wilson had a monster season for the Wolfpack, finishing with 138 tackles, 6 sacks, 6 pass defenses, ad 3 interceptions.

The award was presented to Wilson by Matt Butkus, the son of Dick Butkus. The Butkus Award Selection Committee had the following to say about Wilson:

“Payton Wilson set the standard for toughness, competitiveness and on-field leadership this fall. He lined up the defense and often was moving to the ball before the snap. His exceptional production, all-around performance and presence distinguished him at the top of this year’s Butkus Award winner.”

Wilson garnered 61% of first place votes and led the field with 37% of the overall vote, followed by Jeremiah Trotter of Clemson (29%), Ty’Ron Hopper of Missouri (16%), Edefuan Ulofoshio of Washington and Nathaniel Watson of Mississippi State. Additionally, Edgerrin Cooper of Texas A&M and Tommy Eichenberg of Ohio State received write-in votes.