AP All-Americans: How Well Was Big 10 Represented?
Big 10 All-Americans
The Associated Press has released its All-American selections for the 2013 NCAA football season, and the Big 10 is well represented, although not on the first team.
15 players from seven different Big 10 schools at 10 different positions were voted by the media as being amongst the nation's best this season. Michigan State leads the Big 10 with four players, Ohio State comes in second with three, Wisconsin and Penn State each have two and then Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern each have a single player receiving the honor.
Only two of the 15 were named to the first team, three are on the second team and the other 10 are on the list of third-teamers. Three of the 15 are "skill" position players and one is a special teams player.
The fact that so few of the Big 10's best are on the first team and that most of the recipients of the honor from the conference are "non-skill" players represents the current perception about the conference. The Big 10 is seen as lacking explosive players at offensive skill positions, but well-stocked in offensive linemen and defensive talent.
If the Big 10 can win the majority of its bowl games this month and next, it could go a long way to improving the perception of the conference and perhaps voters will be more inclined to give more credit to accomplishments of the Big 10's individual players. 13 of these new All-Americans will be playing in bowl games and have a chance to help out the cause of the Big 10 by proving their All-American worthiness on the national stage.
Carlos Hyde-Running Back, Third Team
Hyde amassed 1,516 yards from scrimmage and 16 touchdowns for the Leaders Division Champion Ohio State Buckeyes.
Ameer Abdullah-Running back, Third Team
Abdullah led the Nebraska Cornhuskers with 1,800 yards of scrimmage and scored 10 touchdowns this season.
Allen Robinson-Wide Receiver, Third Team
Robinson caught 97 passes for 1,432 yards and six touchdowns for the Penn State Nittany Lions, who would be playing in a bowl game if not for the program's postseason ban.
Jack Mewhort-Offensive Tackle, Third Team
Mewhort was the leader of a unit that allowed only 17 sacks and was third in FBS in rushing yards per game.
Taylor-Lewan-Offensive Tackle, Second Team
Lewan is considered by many the most NFL-ready offensive tackle in this year's senior class.
John Urschel-Guard, Third Team
Urschel is a projected second- or third-round draft pick in the NFL this year.
Ryan Groy-Guard, Third Team
Groy was a big part of an offensive line that only gave up 15 sacks and cleared the way for the rushing attack to average 283 yards a game.
Shilique Calhoun-Defensive End, Second Team
Calhoun recorded 36 tackles, 7.5 sacks and an interception for the nation's best defense.
Ra'Shede Hageman-Defensive Tackle, Third Team
Hageman recorded an interception, two sacks and 34 tackles for the Golden Gophers this season.
Ryan Shazier-Linebacker, First Team
Shazier accumulated 134 tackles and six sacks for Ohio State this season.
Chris Borland-Linebacker, Second Team
Borland recorded 102 tackles, four sacks and forced a fumble this season for a better-than-expected Wisconsin defense.
Max Bullough-Linebacker, Third Team
Bullough contributed 76 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble to the nation's best defense this season.
Denicos Allen-Linebacker, Third Team
Allen helped Michigan State get to the Rose Bowl with his 91 tackles, 5.5 sacks and one touchdown.
Darqueze Dennard-Cornerback, First Team
Dennard was a finalist for many awards with his four interceptions, two forced fumbles and 59 tackles.
Jeff Budzien-Kicker, Third Team
Budzien tied for the national lead in field goals made per game, connecting on all 35 of his attempts.