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Devin Bush placed in the top 15 for the 2017 Butkus Award

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The award is given to the nation’s best linebacker

NCAA Football: Cincinnati at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Devin Bush’s presence was felt on the first play from scrimmage of the season against Florida on a speedy and hard hit that almost resulted in a targeting penalty. He looked like a lightning bolt on the play and established a tone for the defense for that entire game.

He has come a long way, as he is now being recognized as one of the best at his position in the country.

The University of Michigan announced linebacker Devin Bush has been named a top 15 semifinalist for the 2017 Butkus Award.

The Butkus Award, which has been around since 1985, is awarded to the nation’s top linebacker.

Bush leads Michigan in total tackles with 67 and has five sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss through the team’s eight games. He is one of the fastest guys on the defense, so his presence is known early and often when it comes to being a sideline to sideline guy.

The last three Butkus Award winners — Reuben Foster, Jaylon Smith and Eric Kendricks — all had at least 115 total tackles the year they won it. Bush is on pace for around 91. The most sacks that one of those linebackers had was Foster with five. Tackles for loss also seems to be an important factor with the past three winners, as Smith had nine, Kendricks had 11.5 and Foster had 13.

Other Big Ten semifinalists include Ohio State’s Jerome Baker, Wisconsin’s T.J. Edwards and Iowa’s Josey Jewell.

The only Michigan player to win the award was Erick Anderson in 1991.