Expectations build for TCU's Tank Carder

A lot of people believe TCU senior linebacker Tank Carder is headed for a big season.

Carder on Monday was named to the watch list for the Dick Butkus Award, honoring the nation's top linebacker.

Former TCU All-American Daryl Washington, who had a team-high 13 tackles for the Arizona Cardinals in his professional debut Saturday, was a 2009 Butkus Award semifinalist.

The Butkus Award is the fourth national award to recognize Carder, the Mountain West Conference Preseason Player of the Year, as a candidate. He also appears on watch lists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award.

Carder, from Sweeney, was an All-MWC selection in his first year as a starter last season. His 89 tackles placed second on TCU behind only Washington (109) and were 19 more than the next-closest Horned Frog (Alex Ibiloye, 70). Carder was third with 10 tackles for loss and he topped the Horned Frogs while tying for second in the MWC with 10 pass breakups.

Carder is one of seven returning starters on a TCU defense that has led the nation in total defense each of the last two seasons.