10 Candidates for Big Ten Tatum–Woodson Defensive Back of the Year

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Big Ten: Tatum–Woodson Defensive Back of the Year

Big Ten Tatum–Woodson Defensive Back of the Year
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Why the defensive back of the year? Is this a real award? Why pay so much attention to an award that has only been handed out three times? The reason is because the depth of talent at this position is a true representation of the quality of defense that is currently being played in the Big Ten.

The Michigan State Spartans are the class of the big ten in overall defense this season. That fact holds true in regards of the award given to the Smith–Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year which was awarded to Spartans defensive end Shilique Calhoun as well as the Tatum–Woodson Defensive Back of the Year Darqueze Dennard. The Spartans narrowly missed out on winning the Butkus–Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year award which was given to Wisconsin Badger Chris Borland over Spartan Max Bullough.

Dennard did win the trophy this season following previous winners Alfonzo Dennard of the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Micah Hyde of the Iowa Hawkeyes. In fact some might say this trophy is truly staying in the family as Dennard the former Husker and current New England Patriot who won the trophy in its first season is a cousin to Dennard this year’s winner.

In college football today, defenses are often seen playing with five defensive backs in the formation, and at times a sixth defensive back is present on the field. Defensive backs are being asked to be more versatile hybrids of a linebacker/safety. A young man who can cover as well as be an effective run stopper. A team who has great talent as well as great depth in their defensive backfield will find a good share of success in college football today. Here are look at some of the top defensive backs in the Big Ten this season.

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Darqueze Dennard

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This Michigan State Spartan did win the Big Ten Tatum–Woodson Defensive Back of the Year. His on field efforts have helped led his team all season and allowed the Spartans to have the top run defense in college football.

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Kurtis Drummond

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Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

This Spartan played alongside Dennard to help shut down offenses across the Big Ten this season. When a defense can count on shut down cornerbacks they can commit more players to shutting down the opponents rushing attack.

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Isaiah Lewis

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Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

This third Spartan on the list is proof of the depth that the Spartans have in their Defensive Backfield. Lewis contributed two interceptions on the season.

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Ciante Evans

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This Senior Blackshirt was one consistency on defense for Coach Bo Pelini this season. Evans had four interceptions this season, and one touchdown.

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Stanley Jean-Baptiste

SJB
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The second senior Husker defensive back on this list matched Evans in interceptions and touchdowns this season. Jean-Baptiste has size and athletic ability that make him a very interesting prospect.

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Brock Vereen

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This Golden Gopher was a leader of his team this season and contributed to his squad with his efforts as a senior and was awarded with votes from Big Ten coaches earning him a spot on the all-Big Ten first team as a defensive back.

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Bradley Roby

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This defensive back from Ohio State has been shutting down the opposition all season. Roby may be one of the fastest players in the Big Ten.

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B.J. Lowery.jpg

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Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

This Iowa Hawkeye was the key member of the Iowa Hawkeyes secondary in a year that they needed to replace the top defensive back from the conference last year Micah Hyde.

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Blake Countless

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This Michigan Wolverine was the last line of defense for his squad this year and he did not disappoint. Countless recorded six interceptions for his squad this year.

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Ricardo Allen

Ricardo Allen
Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Allen was one of the few shining stars on a Purdue team that had plenty of struggles this season. Allen recorded six interceptions for the Boilermakers this year.

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