Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year: Devin Bush, Michigan
Michigan co-captain linebacker Devin Bush Jr. was named the most outstanding defensive player in the Big Ten. According to the team site, in 12 games he totaled 79 tackles (38 solo), 9 tackles for loss, and 5 sacks. Bush, who was also a unanimous All-Big Ten first-team pick, was named the Nagurski-Woodson defensive player of the year by the league on Tuesday. He also won the league’s Butkus-Fitzgerald linebacker of the year honor.
Because the pool of draft-eligible underclassmen in so large, Bush might not hear his name called until the second round.
Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year: Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
Sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins was named the Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year. Haskins led Ohio State to an 11-1 record and 8-1 in the Big Ten while throwing for 4,003 yards and 41 touchdowns. He added 127 yards on the ground with four touchdowns. Haskins also took home the Big Ten’s Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year award.
Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year: Rondale Moore, Purdue
In the last game of his freshman year, at the Music Bowl, All-American Rondale Moore established a new school record with 2,215 all-purpose yards in a single season. The wide receiver finished with 1,258 yards receiving. His 114 receptions were the best in the country for the 2018 season and seven behind the school record of 121 set by Chris Daniels in 1999 (also in 12 games). His 12 touchdown catches were tied for fourth on the Boilermaker’s single season list.
Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year: Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Iowa
In 2018, Smith-Marsette returned 24 kicks for 707 yards and a 29.5 yards per return average. Though he was unable to return a kick for a touchdown this year, the former Newark, New Jersey, Weequahic high school track star, was invariably consistent with his kick returns for the Hawkeyes. He followed his blocks well and seemed to glide effortlessly down the field. His 29.5 kick return average led the Big Ten, finishing second nationally.
Dave McClain Coach of the Year (media vote) & Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year (coaches vote): : Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
Fitzgerald led Northwestern to its first-ever Big Ten West title and an 8-1 conference mark which is NU’s best Big Ten record since 1995. The Wildcats have also won 15 of 17 conference games. The Wildcats beat No. 20 Wisconsin and No. 21 Iowa, losing to No. 14 Michigan by only 3 points. In the Holiday bowl, they beat No. 17 Utah 31-20.