The preseason accolades keep coming for Jake Hansen

Illinois linebacker Jake Hansen is one of the best defensive players in college football.

The proof is in the preseason accolades.

On Monday, the former East Lake standout was named to the watch list for the Butkus Award, presented annually to the nation’s top linebacker. Hansen was a semifinalist for the award last season.

A day later, Hansen added another honor, this time landing on the watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which goes to the nation’s top defensive player.

Hansen (featured photo above courtesy of Illinois Athletics) is now a preseason candidate for three awards. Last week, he was named to watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which honors the defensive player of year in college football.

Last season, Hansen led the nation forced fumbles with seven and tied for the team in tackles with 95.