Arrow-right Camera
Go to e-Edition Sign up for newsletters Customer service
Subscribe now
Sports >  WSU football

Washington State linebacker Daiyan Henley named finalist for Butkus Award

Nov. 22, 2022 Updated Tue., Nov. 22, 2022 at 5:42 p.m.

Washington State linebacker Daiyan Henley cheers with teammates before a Pac-12 game against Arizona on Saturday at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State linebacker Daiyan Henley cheers with teammates before a Pac-12 game against Arizona on Saturday at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – In his first and only season at Washington State, Daiyan Henley has distinguished himself in the program, earning a distinction that no Cougars linebacker before him had attained.

On Tuesday, Henley became the first player in WSU history to be named a finalist for the Butkus Award, which recognizes the best linebacker in the nation.

Henley is one of five players in contention for the honor, the Butkus Foundation announced. The senior transfer is the only finalist from the Pac-12 Conference.

Henley signed with WSU this offseason after five years at Nevada and quickly became the most talented player for a WSU defense that has been one of the most impressive units in the conference. Through 11 games , Henley ranks second in the Pac-12 with 102 tackles – 20th nationally.

He’s also second in the conference with 12 tackles for loss. Henley is three tackles behind conference leader Kyle Soelle, a LB at Arizona State.

According to Pro Football Focus’ performance metrics, Henley owns the No. 3 tackling grade in the country among LBs. He is the site’s top-graded pass-rushing LB in the Pac-12 and boasts the No. 2 overall defensive grade among the conference’s LBs.

The 6-foot-2, 232-pounder out of Los Angeles has totaled four sacks. He finished five games with double-digit tackling totals, including a season-high 13 against Oregon State.

Henley received an invitation Monday to the Senior Bowl all-star showcase game, which will be Feb. 4 in Mobile, Alabama.

He is widely projected to be selected in the 2023 NFL draft.

Earlier this season, Henley was added to the watch list for the Bednarik Award, presented annually to the nation’s best defender. He was named to the Associated Press’ midseason All-America team last month.

The winner of the Butkus Award will be revealed Dec. 7, or perhaps earlier. Other players in the running are Iowa’s Jack Campbell, Georgia’s Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Cincinnati’s Ivan Pace and Arkansas’ Drew Sanders.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Cougs newsletter

Get the latest Cougs headlines delivered to your inbox as they happen.