Friday, December 9, 2011
Big Ten awards update
By Adam Rittenberg
"The Home Depot College Football Awards" show last night is in the books, and several Big Ten players were recognized for their efforts this season.
Here's a quick roundup:
Michigan's David Molk won the award as the nation's top center. He becomes the third Big Ten center to win the Rimington Trophy since 2004 and the first Michigan player to do so since David Baas shared the award in 2004.
Molk was a first-team All-Big Ten selection and claimed Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year honors.
Wisconsin's Peter Konz also was a finalist for the award.
WALTER CAMP ALL-AMERICA TEAM
- Michigan center David Molk
- Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus
- Penn State defensive tackle Devon Still
- Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy
- Wisconsin running back Montee Ball
- Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler
- Nebraska linebacker Lavonte David
Ball deserved the first-team nod over Oregon's LaMichael James, but at least he appears on the second team. Konz also should have appeared, as he was arguably the nation's top center until dislocating his ankle Nov. 12 at Minnesota. Mercilus becomes Illinois' first Walter Camp All-American since linebackers Simeon Rice and Kevin Hardy were recognized in 1995.
- Wisconsin's Ball lost out to Alabama's Trent Richardson for the Doak Walker Award (nation's top running back). Although Ball had superior stats to Richardson, he only gained national recognition later in the season, which might have cost him. Both are great backs, but Ball was certainly deserving of the Doak. Who knows? Maybe he'll return in 2012 and win it.
- Penn State's Still lost out to LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu for the Bednarik Award (nation's top defender)
- Still lost out to Alabama offensive lineman Barrett Jones for the Outland Trophy (nation's top interior lineman). I thought Still had a better shot at the Outland than the Bednarik, as Mathieu has been so electric this season. Jones, who has played several offensive line positions for the Tide, is a strong choice. The Lions star will learn Monday whether or not he'll win the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.