ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ Nebraska's Trev Alberts won the Butkus Award on Saturday as the nation's top collegiate linebacker.

Alberts, who helped second-ranked Nebraska into a New Year's Day Orange Bowl showdown against No. 1 Florida State for the national championship, won out over the Seminoles Derrick Brooks and UCLA's Jamir Miller.

''This is a dream of mine right here,'' Alberts said holding up the trophy presented by NFL Hall of Famer Dick Butkus.

''I wanted this award really bad,'' Alberts said. ''It represents the best in the world. ... Our team's 11-0 record helped us. It makes the award so much better that we had a winning season.''

Alberts, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound senior, is considered one of the most promising pro football candidates in years. He had 15 sacks among his 96 tackles this season.

The award presented by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando is named for Butkus, a former Chicago Bears great. The winner is selected by a panel of writers and broadcasters.

Nebraska coach Tom Osborne, who attended a banquet that honored the three finalists, said ''There is no one more deserving than Trev. I don't think I've had a player who has more defensively dictated a game than he has.''

Butkus called the three finalists ''three class guys who are not only great football players, they are outstanding students.''

Osborne called Alberts ''a very durable guy who got hurt in the last part of the Oklahoma game. I hope we can get him back for the Orange Bowl.''

Alberts had a cast on his right arm but said doctors had told him that they would take it off and splint his arm so he can play against Brooks and Florida State.

''I am going to play. No doubt about that. I don't think you can write a better script to this season,'' Alberts said.