Fresno State Bulldogs

Bulldogs linebacker Walker added to second award watch list

Fresno State senior linebacker Mykal Walker is drawing national attention. He was named to the Butkus Award watch list Monday. 

The Butkus Award recognizes the best linebacker in college football. Walker was previously named to the Bednarik Award watch list, which is given to the best defensive player in the country. 

Walker transferred from Azusa Pacific in 2017 and sat out the season per NCAA transfer rules. He started all 14 games at defensive end in 2018. 

He was named to the All-Mountain West first team last season. He led all defensive linemen in the conference with 6.1 tackles per game. 

Walker had one of his best performances of the season in the Mountain West Championship game against Boise State. He was named the Defensive MVP after tallying 12 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. 

Walker moved from defensive end to middle linebacker during spring practice. 

In total, 51 linebackers were named to the list, including five from the Mountain West. Last season, former Bulldogs linebacker Jeff Allison was included on the list. 

The semifinalists for the award will be named on Nov. 4, and finalists will be named on Nov. 25. The winner will be announced on or before Dec. 10 by the Butkus Foundation. 

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at