FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - Bishop Luers standout Jaylon Smith has been recognized as the nation's top linebacker.
Smith was announced as the winner of the 2012 Butkus Award at a press conference Monday morning at Bishop Luers High School. Smith was one of five finalists nationally for the award.
Pro Football Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, for whom the award is named, called to personally congratulate Smith.
"I'm Dick Butkus," the booming voice on the other side of the conference call said. "I'm pretty proud to report that you are the 2012 High School Butkus Award winner."
"You're a good example of what we're trying to set," Butkus told Smith.
The Butkus Award has been handed out to the top high school linebacker since 2008. Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o was the inaugural recipient.
Smith, who has signed to play at Notre Dame, says he's proud to carry on the Irish tradition of winning the high school award.
The college version has been given since 1985.
Smith led the Knights to their fourth straight IHSAA 2A Football State Championship on Thanksgiving weekend.
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