BuckAround’s All-Big Ten Teams
Rich explicitly disavows any input to this or other accolades for individual players or coaches.
First Team Offense
QB: C.J. Beathard, Iowa – who else, right? But Iowa’s undefeated with a chance for the CFP. Beathard has been the straw that’s stirred the drink all season long.
RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State; Jordan Howard, Indiana
WR: Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State; Leonte Carroo, Rutgers – don’t care if Carroo was hurt or suspended or didn’t play, he deserves to be here.
TE: Jake Butt, Michigan
Tackles: Jason Spriggs, Indiana; Taylor Decker, Ohio State – Spriggs is possibly the league best pro prospect at tackle, watch him at the Senior Bowl. Assuming Decker's been invited.
Guards: Jordan Welsh, Iowa; Pat Elflein, Ohio State – two of the league’s top run games went through them.
Center: Austin Blythe, Iowa
First Team Defense
Tackles: Anthony Zettel, Penn State; Ryan Glasgow, Michigan – When Glasgow was lost for the season prior to Indiana, the Wolverines’ run defense just wasn’t the same; Zettel tackled a lot more than trees this season.
Ends: Joey Bosa, Ohio State; Carl Nassib, Penn State – most would have Bosa as the better pro prospect (“he’s a young J.J. Watt!!"); Nassib will win more post-season AWARDS.
Linebackers: Joe Schobert, Wisconsin; Anthony Walker, Northwestern; Josey Jewell, Iowa – no Buckeyes? Ya, I know.
Cornerbacks: Desmond King, Iowa; Jourdan Lewis, Michigan – both are Thorpe Award finalists. Two of the league’s top return men, too.
Safeties: Vonn Bell, Ohio State; Michael Caputo, Wisconsin – Caputo, along with teammate Schobert (see above), led the Badgers’ stellar defense, which in turn, led the nation in scoring during the regular season. Bell is one of the best safeties in the nation.
First Team Special Teams
Kicker: Brad Craddock, Maryland – still the best kicker in the Big Ten.
Punter: Peter Mortell, Minnesota – third in the league in punting average by a hair, but had at least 15 more punts than the top two.
Returner: Will Likely, Maryland – future Devin Hester is one of the best return men the league’s had in quite a while. By far the best player on his team.
Long Snapper: Um, no.
Holder: Very no.
Second Team Offense
QB: (Tie) Nate Sudfeld, Indiana; Connor Cook, Michigan State – the voters could not come to a consensus.
RB: Justin Jackson, Northwestern; Jordan Canzeri, Iowa
WR: Alex Erickson, Wisconsin; Michael Thomas, Ohio State – Erickson was basically the only receiver on a 9-3 team with an uncharacteristically crappy running game. Thomas could have been a Biletnikoff finalist in a different offense – aside from Carroo, he’s the most physically gifted receiver in the league.
TE: Josiah Price, Michigan State – he was hurt, true, but the voters couldn’t combine Iowa’s George Kittle and Henry Krieger Coble into one guy.
Tackles: Jack Conklin, Michigan State; Alex Lewis, Nebraska – Conklin’s season was affected by injury, but he’s still one of the best in the league. Nebraska had a disappointing season, but they were tied with Indiana for first in the league in sacks allowed with 13. Honorable Mention: Tyler Marz (thoughts?)
Guards: Dan Feeney, Indiana; Ted Karras, Illinois
Center: Jack Allen, Michigan State
Second Team Defense
Tackles: Adolphus Washington, Ohio State; Maliek Collins, Nebraska – future pros both.
Ends: Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State; Yannick Ngakoue, Maryland – Ngakoue finished second in the league (and nationally) to Carl Nassib with 9.5 sacks. Calhoun will be a solid pro. Honorable Mention: Malik McDowell, Michigan State – he’ll be on this list next year.
Linebackers: Joshua Perry/Darron Lee/Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State; Mason Monheim, Illinois; Vince Biegel, Wisconsin – Ohio State does have some great linebackers. Honorable Mention: Riley Bullough, Michigan State; Steve Longa, Rutgers.
Cornerbacks: Darius Hillary, Wisconsin; Nick VanHoose, Northwestern – wily veterans both.
Safeties: Tyvis Powell, Ohio State; Clayton Fejedelem, Illinois – Who led the league in tackles? Fejedelem, with a whopping 140; second was Longa at 117. Honorable Mention: Jabrill Peppers, Michigan – future star.
Second Team Special Teams
Kicker: Griffin Oakes, Indiana – led the league in FG percentage with 22 makes on 25 attempts.
Punter: Cameron Johnston, Ohio State
Returner: Janarion Grant, Rutgers – game changer; don’t know why he didn’t return more punts.
Long Snapper: Still, no (apologies).