The helmet is worn by the football program at the University of Missouri, a Southeastern Conference school based out of Columbia, Missouri

Mizzou linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper named to Butkus preseason watch list

University of Missouri linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper has been selected as one of the 51 players on the preseason watch list for the 39th annual Butkus Award®. This prestigious award honors the best linebackers in football and is named after the legendary Dick Butkus, considered by NFL Films as the greatest defensive player in football history. The number 51 on the watch list pays tribute to the iconic “51” jersey worn by Dick Butkus during his playing career.

Hopper’s recognition on the Butkus Award watch list adds to his accolades, as he has also been named to the watch list for the Nagurski Trophy. He earned several preseason honors, including being named Preseason Second-Team All-Southeastern Conference by the league’s media. Athlon selected Hopper as a preseason Third-Team All-America and a First-Team All-SEC player. He also received Third-Team Preseason All-SEC recognition from Phil Steele. Among returning linebackers in the league, Hopper was ranked second by PFF College, just behind his teammate Chad Bailey.

The Butkus Award selection process involves a panel of experts, including coaches, scouts, and journalists. The award semifinalists are anticipated to be announced on October 30, with finalists following on November 20. The winner of the Butkus Award will be revealed on or before December 6. While being on the watch list is not a requirement to win the award, all 2023 Butkus Award winners will be celebrated during a televised event in January 2024. Last season’s event was broadcasted by BTN (Big Ten Network) and featured Dick Butkus himself, along with distinguished NFL alumni.

Established in 1985, the Butkus Award not only recognizes exceptional linebackers but also supports important causes championed by the Butkus family. These include the Butkus Takes Heart™ initiative, which promotes early cardiovascular screening among adults, and the I Play Clean® initiative, advocating for drug-free athletic training.

The award’s history boasts notable collegiate winners such as Patrick Willis, Von Miller, Luke Kuechly, Devin White, and Roquan Smith, among others. The Butkus Award places a growing emphasis on acknowledging linebackers who consistently demonstrate their skills while standing in a two-point stance in the traditional off-the-ball position.

The University of Missouri’s football season is set to begin on August 31 with a game against South Dakota at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. CT, and the game will be broadcasted on SEC Network and the Tiger Radio Network. The SEC Nation pregame show will also be broadcasting from Faurot Field as part of the event.

Ahead of the 2023 football season at Memorial Stadium, University of Missouri Athletics has introduced fan-friendly enhancements to the concessions experience, including affordable pricing for select items and other improvements, in collaboration with concessions partner Levy Restaurants.

The fan-friendly pricing will be implemented throughout the entire stadium, offering cheeseburgers for $5, Conecuh Hot Dogs for $3, as well as small popcorn, bottled water, and bottled soda for $2 each.

Mizzou’s efforts to enhance the concessions experience include:

  1. New Vendor and Offerings: Conecuh has been introduced as a new vendor, offering a variety of hot dogs and sausages, expanding the choices for fans.
  2. Craft Beer Tent: A craft beer tent has been set up in the North End Zone concourse, featuring locally sourced beers from Missouri vendors, adding a flavorful touch to the stadium experience.
  3. Grab-and-Go Stands: To streamline ordering and reduce wait times, six additional “Grab-and-Go” stands have been introduced, allowing fans to quickly grab their preferred food and beverages and return to their seats promptly.
  4. Increased Points of Sale: A significant 16% increase in points of sale has been implemented, aimed at minimizing wait times at concessions stands, ensuring that fans spend more time enjoying the game and less time in lines.
  5. Pizza Partnership: The introduction of Brew Pub Pizza marks the return of pizza offerings to Memorial Stadium after several years, giving fans another delicious food option.
  6. Additional Staffing: Levy Restaurants has increased staffing levels throughout the stadium to ensure efficient and prompt service.
  7. Enhanced Equipment and Technology: Stadium concession stands have been equipped with upgraded equipment and improved technical capabilities, contributing to a smoother and more efficient concessions experience.

The University of Missouri Athletics also mentioned that additional changes and enhancements will be revealed as they are finalized, aiming to provide fans with an enjoyable and convenient experience while cheering on the Tigers.

The University of Missouri football team is set to host an exciting event, Fan Night & Flick on Faurot, on Saturday, August 19, 2023, offering Tigers fans of all ages the opportunity to get an up-close look at the team’s fall camp preparations for the upcoming 2023 season.

The event details are as follows:

  • Date: Saturday, August 19, 2023
  • Time: Gates open at 6:30 p.m., Practice scheduled from 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

Fans can enter Memorial Stadium through gate 1, and parking is available on the north end and west side of the stadium. Attendees will receive a 2023 schedule poster as a token of their participation.

The event promises an engaging experience for fans:

  • The north concourse will host select concession stands, providing refreshments for attendees.
  • A kid’s zone will feature various attractions, including inflatables, yard games, a face painter, balloon twister, and more, ensuring a fun-filled time for young fans.
  • The main highlight of the evening is the opportunity to witness the 2023 football squad in action during their practice session.

Following the football practice, the festivities continue with “Flick on Faurot.” This part of the event is a special screening of the movie “Monsters University,” made possible by the sponsorship of MU’s Campus Activities Programming Board. Attendees can bring blankets to comfortably enjoy the movie on the field. It’s important to note that while attendees are welcome to bring blankets, food, and drink are not allowed on the turf.

Moreover, participants can take part in the “Kiss the 50” tradition, adding an element of fan engagement and enthusiasm to the event.

Fan Night & Flick on Faurot promises an evening of entertainment, community, and football spirit for all attendees, offering an exciting way to kick off the football season and engage with fellow fans.