The award, named for NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, is presented annually to the top collegiate, professional and high school linebacker. Semifinalists will be named Oct. 22, finalists Nov. 20 and winners announced in January 2013.
Tate was up for a number of national honors last season and averaged 8.8 tackles in four games before suffering a season-ending knee injury that caused him to miss most of the year. As a junior in 2010, he was a first team All-ACC selection and a second team All-America choice by College Football News.
In 40 career games, Tate has 197 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, seven interceptions and five sacks. He is one of five players from the Atlantic Coast Conference to make the list.