Big Ten Athlete of the Year Nominee - NU's Venric Mark

Mark helping the Wildcats to a 10-3 record and a win in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl.

Mark helping the Wildcats to a 10-3 record and a win in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl.

June 25, 2013

Through today, the Big Ten will highlight each of the 24 student-athletes nominated for the conference's Athlete of the Year awards. Award winners are voted on by a pre-selected media panel and will be announced on Wednesday.

Venric Mark - Northwestern - Football
Mark became Northwestern's first 1,000-yard rusher since 2006, scampering for 1,366 yards in his first full season in the backfield. Mark earned first-team All-America honors as a punt returner from the Football Writers Association of America and was named the Wildcats' Offensive MVP, helping the team to a 10-3 record and a win in the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl. A second-team All-Big Ten selection by the coaches and media, Mark posted eight 100-yard rushing efforts and scored 14 total touchdowns. The junior ranked first in the conference and 12thnationally in all-purpose yards per game with 166.6, finishing 29 yards shy of breaking Northwestern's single-season all-purpose yardage record. Click HERE for more information on Venric.

Previously Highlighted Nominees:

Ed Ruth, Penn State wrestling

Christine Nairn, Penn State women's soccer

Geoff Davis, Purdue men's track & field 

Casey Matthews, Purdue women's swimming & diving 

Derek St. John, Iowa wrestling

Jessica Barnett, Iowa field hockey    

Connor Jaeger, Michigan men's swimming & diving

Joanna Sampson, Michigan women's gymnastics

Le'Veon Bell, Michigan State football  

Caroline Powers, Michigan State women's golf  

Tony Nelson, Minnesota wrestling

Amanda Kessel, Minnesota women's ice hockey

Justin Parr, Illinois baseball

Ashley Spencer, Illinois women's track & field  

Montee Ball, Wisconsin football   

Cassandra Darrah, Wisconsin softball   

Chad Wright, Nebraska men's track & field

Mary Weatherholt, Nebraska women's tennis