Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year: DE CHASE YOUNG, OHIO STATE
Young racked up 21 tackles for loss and 16.5 sacks en route to Defensive Player of the Year honors in the Big Ten. Pretty impressive considering Young missed two games this season. Plus, in Young’s last three games — against Michigan, Wisconsin and Clemson — he had zero sacks and just 1.5 tackles for loss.
Young did not take part in any of the on-field workouts for his position group at the NFL Scouting Combine. He was to participate in position drills during Ohio State’s pro day on March 25 – but that has since been canceled due to the new Corona Virus Outbreak.
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Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year: QB JUSTIN FIELDS, OHIO STATE
Last year, Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins was named the Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year.
This year, it’s Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields. The Georgia transfer threw for 3,273 yards and 41 touchdowns, ran for 484 yards and 10 touchdowns in his first season as Ohio State’s starting quarterback. The Buckeyes were undefeated in the regular season and won the Big Ten Championship.
“I’m proud of his development,” head coach Ryan Day said. “He’s come a long way in the pocket, moving in the pocket, seeing things and drop-back protection. We have a list of things that he’s working on to get better at.”
Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year: WR DAVID BELL, PURDUE
Purdue’s Rondale Moore was named the Big Ten Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year in 2018, and now David Bell follows in his footsteps.
With Rondale Moore limited to four games due to injury, Purdue turned to freshman wide receiver David Bell. Bell led the conference with 86 catches for 1,035 yards and seven scores.
Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year: JAVON LEAKE, MARYLAND
Leake finished third in FBS, while leading the Big Ten, with 804 kick return yards. He also led Big Ten with two kick return touchdowns, tied for the most in a single season in Maryland history. Leake ranked 13th nationally and led Big Ten with a 26.8 kick return average. He has declared for the April’s NFL Draft.
Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year: : P.J. FLECK, MINNESOTA
Big Ten coaches have selected P.J. Fleck as their choice for the Big Ten’s Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year. Fleck was honored with the award after leading the Minnesota Golden Gophers to their first 10-win regular season since 1905.
Fleck led the Gophers to their first 9-0 start since 1904, culminating in a 31-26 upset of then No. 4-ranked Penn State. Minnesota was ranked as high as No. 8 at one point by the College Football Playoff selection committee.
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