There's been plenty of hype surrounding Michigan's defensive line duo of Maurice Hurst and Rashan Gary, but linebacker Mike McCray is the defense's lone returning full-time starter. The most decorated returning player on the Gamecocks' roster, Moore was named preseason second-team All-SEC by both Athlon magazine and by the media attending SEC Media Days.
He has already earned recognition among the top defenders in the nation by being named to several preseason award watch lists.
Okoronkwo is also in the running for the Bednarik and Nagurski awards, given to the nation's top defensive players. Morgan had five games with at least 10 tackles last season, including a career-high of 13 tackles (9 solo) in the season opener against Texas. He also has 812 career punt return yards to rank fifth in school history and just 188 yards from becoming the third player in NU history with 1,000 punt return yards.
A fifth MI football player has landed on a preseason watch list. Appearance on the watch list is not required to become a victor.More news: Amazon-made meal boxes reportedly coming soon-watch out, Hello Fresh
Semifinalists for the Butkus Award will be named on October 30 with finalists being selected on November 20. The Professional victor will be announced in early 2018.
The Butkus Award, www.thebutkusaward.com and on Facebook at 51.butkus, is presented by the Butkus Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization. Former All-American Manti Te'o won the award in 2012 and standout linebacker Jaylon Smith won the award in 2015.
The Paul Hornung Award, now in its eighth season, is given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission, and football legend and Louisville native Paul Hornung. Visit www.NCFAA.org for more information.