Dumas-Johnson, Willis in running for Butkus Award

Aaron Willis

Three area high school football players are nominees for the Dick Butkus Award.

St. Frances Academy’s Aaron Willis and Jamon Dumas-Johnson and Baltimore County resident Greg Penn, who plays for Prince George’s County’s DeMatha Catholic, are among 51 chosen to the Butkus Watch List.

Willis, the area’s top senior defensive prospect, has helped the Panthers to consecutive Top 5 national rankings by USA Today and MaxPreps. The 6-foot, 210-pound inside backer is verbally committed to the University of Tennessee.

Greg Penn Jr.

Dumas-Johnson is rated 14th in Rivals.com’s Maryland Top 35 seniors. The 6-2, 235-pounder committed to Georgia earlier this month.

Penn, who played at McDonogh School as a freshman, is the top senior prospect (No. 5 in Rivals’ Maryland list) for the perennial Washington Catholic Athletic Conference power Stags. Penn, an Essex resident, recently committed to LSU.

The Butkus Award, named in honor of the legendary Chicago Bear linebacker, recognizes the top backer on the professional, collegiate and high school level. Semifinalists and finalists will be announced in November and winners in December.