NEEDHAM, Mass. -- Luke Kuechly of Boston College is the winner of the Butkus Award presented annually to the best linebacker in college football. He led the nation in tackles per game (15.9) in 2011 with 191 total, including 102 solo.

Butkus presented the award to Kuechly at the Eagles' end-of-year banquet Sunday. 

"I used to watch so much football growing up and when they'd talk about great players they would always talk about Dick Butkus," Kuechly said. "Just being mentioned along with those [past winners] and winning an award named after a guy like Dick Butkus is great."

Von Miller of Texas A&M, now with the Denver Broncos, won in 2010.

Before Butkus presented the award, BC coach Frank Spaziani praised him and Kuechly.

"As a kid, I idolized Dick Butkus. He was the ideal linebacker," Spaziani told Kuechly and the crowd. "You're the closest thing to Dick Butkus that I've seen."