Tremaine Edmunds making a case as best linebacker in America

BLACKSBURG – Junior linebacker Tremaine Edmunds is one of five finalists for the Butkus Award, which is awarded annually to the nation’s top linebacker. He is seeking to become the first Virginia Tech player to earn this prestigious honor which will be announced in early December.

Edmunds furthered his case as the top linebacker in America with a dominant defensive performance in a 10-0 win at Virginia. He led the Hokies with nine tackles, 3.0 TFL and 2.0 as the Hokies limited the Cavaliers to five rushing yards in the game. The junior sensation received ACC Linebacker of the Week honors for the second time in his career for his efforts and was named an All-ACC first team selection on Monday. Pro Football Focus College also graded him at 92.2 against Virginia, the highest mark of any ACC defender last weekend.

Edmunds turned in his second straight 100-tackle season for the Hokies and currently leads the squad 102 tackles (55 solo), a figure that ranks eighth among all ACC players. His 14 tackles for loss rank third among ACC linebackers and eighth overall in the ACC. Over the past two seasons, he has accumulated 32.5 TFL, 10.0 sacks, 13 QB hurries, four forced fumbles, an interception and a fumble recovery.

“Tremaine checks all the boxes of what we’re looking for in a linebacker and then some,” head coach Justin Fuente said. “His size, speed and athleticism are off the charts. While his physical talent is unquestioned, so is his work ethic, character and compassion. Tremaine’s parents are special people and they’ve raised three phenomenal sons. Fortunately for Hokie fans, all three of their boys chose to attend Virginia Tech.”

Older brother Terrell Edmunds earned third-team All-ACC honors as a safety for the Hokies this season, while the eldest of the three Edmunds brothers, Trey, currently serves as a running back for the New Orleans Saints.

The youngest Edmunds has been Tech’s top tackler in five games this season. He also wore the honorary Beamer No. 25 jersey against Georgia Tech on Nov. 11 for his prowess on special teams.

“There’s no doubt Virginia Tech has boasted some unbelievable defensive talent over the years,” associate head coach/defensive coordinator Bud Foster added. “I think about Corey Moore, DeAngelo Hall, Darryl Tapp, Xavier Adibi and so many others. But in my 31 years at Virginia Tech, I’ve never coached a linebacker like Tremaine Edmunds. His combination of size, speed and athleticism are something I’ve never seen all wrapped in one package. He’s simply unique.”

A consensus second-team All-ACC selection in 2016, the Danville, Virginia native is a key component on Tech’s 2017 defense that leads the nation in opponent completion percentage (46.6%) and fewest Red Zone scores allowed (16). The Hokies are second in the nation in third-down defense (25.1%) and third in scoring defense (13.5 ppg). No FBS team has pitched more shutouts than Tech (3) in 2017.

The other four finalists for the 2017 Butkus Award include Devin Bush (Michigan), T.J. Edwards (Wisconsin), Dorian O’Daniel (Clemson) and Roquan Smith (Georgia).

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