Damone Clark is quietly having a “Butkus Award” level season for LSU

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When it comes to top linebackers in the country, Damone Clark might be among the best ones you never hear about. His level of play seems to be lost in the shuffle of the LSU Tigers mediocre season. The team is 4-4 after eight games and sits at No. 6 in the SEC West, just ahead of Arkansas.

The discussion on the defensive side of the ball revolves around no Derek Stingley or Eli Ricks. The team also lost Ali Gaye and Andre Anthony from their pass rush room. Jay Ward has been in and out this year with his injuries and Major Burns still hasn’t returned. A total of six opening weekend starters haven’t really played together this year. Four of them are gone for the season, but Damone Clark has been there through it all.

Prior to the season, the talk at linebacker was incoming Clemson transfer Mike Jones Jr, who rarely sees the field. Clark has been the best player that nobody talks about. Against Ole Miss, he racked up 19 tackles in the game. He saved a scoring play that could have made it even worse for LSU on Saturday.

Clark leads the nation in tackles with 100. He averages 12.5 per game. Against Ole Miss, Damone Clark tallied those 19 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, one sack, and a forced fumble that was awarded to LSU after going out of bounds in the end zone for a touchback.

This year it seems that No. 18 has been ready to play each and every week. Clark deserves all the credit in the world. During a season that is lost and the head coach leaving following the season, Damone Clark has given everything he has. Clark deserves more national recognition for his play despite the team around him not living up to the expectations of Tigers football.

Whether or not he is a finalist for the Butkus Award, given to the top linebacker is irrelevant. He has earned the right to be in the conversation.