Big Ten football defensive awards announced: No Illini on first team


Illinois’ Clayton Fejedelem (20) tackles Iowa’s Mark Weisman (45) during the game against Iowa at Memorial Stadium, on Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014. The Illini lost 30-14.

By Peter Bailey-Wells, Sports editor

Safety Clayton Fejedelem was the only Illinois football player chosen for the All-Big Ten defensive team that was announced Monday.

Fejedelem was named to the second team as selected by the media after leading the conference in tackles with 140 and in tackles per game with 11.6. Rutgers’ Steve Longa was second in both categories with 117 total tackles and 10.6 tackles per game. He was not named to any of the top three teams by the conference’s coaches.

No Illinois players were named to either the coaches’ or the media’s all-conference special teams lists. Six Illini — Mason Monheim, Taylor Barton, Jihad Ward, Dawaune Smoot, T.J. Neal and V’Angelo Bentley — were named honorable mentions by the media.

Seven Illini — the six media honorable mentions and Fejedelem — were named as honorable mentions by the coaches. Bentley was named the team’s sportsmanship award honoree.

Penn State defensive lineman Carl Nassib was named the conference’s Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the year. He led the country with 15.5 sacks and is second in the nation in tackles for loss, with 19.5.

Tomorrow, the conference’s coaches and media offensive honors will be announced.

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