Big Ten Announces 2006 Football All-Conference Teams And Individual Honors

Ohio State's Troy Smith is the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.

Ohio State's Troy Smith is the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year.

Nov. 21, 2006

Park Ridge, Ill. - The Big Ten announced the 2006 All-Conference football teams and individual award winners today as selected by the coaches and a media panel. After leading Ohio State to a perfect 12-0 regular season and a second-straight conference title, Buckeyes quarterback Troy Smith was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year by both the coaches and media, including a unanimous selection on the media side. Michigan and Wisconsin ended the year with identical 11-1 marks and dominated the remaining individual honors. For the Wolverines, defensive end LaMarr Woodley was honored as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year by both the coaches and media while also picking up Defensive Lineman of the Year accolades from the coaches. Teammate Jake Long was tabbed by the coaches as the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year. For the Badgers, first-year mentor Bret Bielema was selected as the media's choice for the Dave McClain Coach of the Year while running back P.J. Hill was chosen as the Freshman of the Year by both the coaches and media.

Smith boosted Ohio State to its first outright Big Ten Championship since 1984 while posting back-to-back titles for the first time since the school won six straight crowns from 1972-77. He becomes the fifth Buckeye to earn Offensive Player of Year laurels and the first since quarterback Joe Germaine was honored by the coaches in 1998. Three other OSU standouts were honored by both the media and coaches including offensive tackle Orlando Pace (1996) and running backs Eddie George (1995) and Keith Byars (1984). Smith established a Big Ten record with five Player of the Week nods this season while leading the conference with a pass efficiency rating of 167.9, the highest rating by a Big Ten signal caller since at least 1985. The Cleveland, Ohio, native topped the conference with 30 touchdown passes, breaking the previous school record of 29 touchdowns set by Bobby Hoying in 1995 and ranking third in Big Ten annals behind only Purdue's Drew Brees (39 in 1998) and Kyle Orton (31 in 2004). Smith, who was also named the preseason Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year back in August, completed 67 percent of his passes for 2,507 yards with only five interceptions in 12 games. He is currently the Big Ten's career leader with a pass efficiency rating of 159.7 while ranking sixth with a completion percentage of 63.4 percent. Smith is a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Awards and a semifinalist for the Maxwell and Davey O'Brien Awards.

LaMarr Woodley was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.


Woodley becomes the first Michigan standout to sweep Big Ten Defensive Player and Lineman of the Year honors and the third student-athlete to accomplish that feat in the last four years along with Wisconsin's Erasmus James (2004) and Ohio State's Will Smith (2003). The senior defensive end is the third Wolverine to earn Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors following linebacker Larry Foote (2001) and cornerback and Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson (1997). He also becomes the fourth Michigan player to collect Defensive Lineman of the Year accolades along with Chris Hutchinson (1992), Mark Messner (1988) and Mike Hammerstein (1985). Woodley led the Big Ten with a career-best 11 sacks while ranking third with 15.5 tackles for loss. The Saginaw, Michigan, native spearheaded a Wolverines defense that topped the conference and ranked among the national leaders by allowing only 43.0 rushing yards per game, the lowest average since at least 1985. Michigan also rated among the top three in the Big Ten in total (2nd at 254.1 ypg) and scoring (3rd at 14.6 ppg) defense. Woodley is a finalist for the Lombardi Award and a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award.

Long becomes the second Wolverine in the last three years to claim Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year accolades along with center David Baas, who was honored in 2004. Other Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year honorees from Michigan include guard Steve Hutchinson (2000) and tackles Jon Jansen (1998) and Greg Skrepenak (1991). After earning second team All-Big Ten honors as a freshman in 2004, Long missed the first seven games last season due to injury before returning to start four of the final five contests, including the Alamo Bowl. The Lapeer, Michigan, native has started all 12 games at left tackle in 2006 to help the Michigan offense lead the Big Ten with 189.2 rushing yards per game, after ranking ninth in that category in 2005.

In his first season on the sidelines, Bielema joins his predecessor Barry Alvarez as the second Wisconsin mentor to be named Big Ten Coach of the Year. Alvarez, the school's current Director of Athletics, was honored in 1993 and 1998. Bielema becomes the first individual in conference history to claim Coach of the Year honors in his first year as a head coach. Four other coaches were honored in their first year on campus, including Michigan State's John L. Smith (2003), Purdue's Joe Tiller (1997), Illinois John Mackovic (1988) and Ohio State's Earl Bruce (1979), but each of them had previous head coaching experience. Bielema guided the Badgers to 11 regular-season victories for the first time in school history, matching the program record of 11 triumphs (including a Rose Bowl win) set in 1998. He is the first rookie head coach (with no prior head coaching experience) in Big Ten history to guide a team to 10 or more victories and seven wins in conference play. Bielema is also only the sixth first-year head coach (with no prior experience) in NCAA history to win 11 or more games.

Wisconsin's P.J. Hill was honored as Big Ten Freshman of the Year.


Hill is the fifth Wisconsin student-athlete to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors along with Anthony Davis (2001), Brooks Bollinger (1999), Ron Dayne (1996) and Tony Lowery (1987). The redshirt freshman running back became the second first-year standout in the last three years to lead the Big Ten in rushing with 129.0 yards per game in conference contests only. Michigan's Mike Hart, who ranked second this year with 121.9 yards per outing, topped the Big Ten in ground yardage in 2004 on his way to Freshman of the Year laurels. Hill is the first Badger to lead the conference in rushing since Heisman Trophy winner Dayne picked up his third rushing title in four years in 1999. Hill also led the conference in all games with 1,533 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns while topping the Big Ten with 96 total points.

Overall, there are 12 individuals repeating as members of the All-Big Ten first or second team from a year ago, including three first-team selections from 2005 who are on this year's first team - Minnesota's Matt Spaeth, Penn State's Paul Posluszny and Wisconsin's Joe Thomas. In addition, Michigan State's Brandon Fields returned to the first team after being honored as a first-team selection following his freshman and sophomore campaigns in 2003 and 2004. Fields is the Spartans' first three-time first-team All-Big Ten honoree since linebacker Percy Snow was honored from 1987-89.

The conference office also announced honorees from each team for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. In addition, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. Honorees for football are J Leman of Illinois, Will Meyers of Indiana, Jason Manson of Iowa, Steve Breaston of Michigan, Drew Stanton of Michigan State, Spaeth of Minnesota, Joel Howells of Northwestern, Antonio Smith of Ohio State, Levi Brown of Penn State, Mike Otto of Purdue and John Stocco of Wisconsin. These 11 student-athletes are now candidates for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award, as the conference office will honor one male and one female student-athlete from each institution at the end of the school year.

A complete listing of the 2006 All-Big Ten Teams and individual honors follows.


2006 All-Big Ten Conference Football Team
As selected by CONFERENCE COACHES
(Players in ALL CAPS have 2007 eligibility)

FIRST TEAM OFFENSE SECOND TEAM
Troy Smith, Ohio State Quarterback CHAD HENNE, Michigan
MIKE HART, Michigan Running Back Tony Hunt, Penn State
ANTONIO PITTMAN, Ohio State Running Back P.J. HILL, Wisconsin
MARIO MANNINGHAM, Michigan Receiver TED GINN JR., Ohio State
ANTHONY GONZALEZ, Ohio State Receiver DORIEN BRYANT, Purdue
Doug Datish, Ohio State Center Mark Bihl, Michigan
Mike Jones, Iowa Guard ADAM KRAUS, Michigan
T.J. Downing, Ohio State Guard Kyle Cook, Michigan State
JAKE LONG, Michigan Tackle Marshal Yanda, Iowa#
Joe Thomas, Wisconsin Tackle Levi Brown, Penn State#
    Mike Otto, Purdue#
Matt Spaeth, Minnesota Tight End Scott Chandler, Iowa
Garrett Rivas, Michigan Kicker TAYLOR MEHLHAFF, Wisconsin
 
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE SECOND TEAM
ALAN BRANCH, Michigan Line VERNON GHOLSTON, Ohio State
LaMarr Woodley, Michigan* Line David Patterson, Ohio State
Quinn Pitcock, Ohio State Line Jay Alford, Penn State
Anthony Spencer, Purdue Line MATT SHAUGHNESSY, Wisconsin
David Harris, Michigan Linebacker J LEMAN, Illinois
JAMES LAURINAITIS, Ohio State Linebacker SHAWN CRABLE, Michigan
Paul Posluszny, Penn State Linebacker DAN CONNOR, Penn State
Leon Hall, Michigan* Defensive Back Marcus Paschal, Iowa#
MALCOLM JENKINS, Ohio State Defensive Back JAMAR ADAMS, Michigan#
Antonio Smith, Ohio State Defensive Back Brandon Mitchell, Ohio State#
JACK IKEGWUONU, Wisconsin Defensive Back JUSTIN KING, Penn State#
    Roderick Rogers, Wisconsin#
Brandon Fields, Michigan State Punter Jeremy Kapinos, Penn State

HONORABLE MENTION: ILLINOIS: VONTAE DAVIS, JASON REDA, Pierre Thomas; INDIANA: JAMES HARDY, TRACY PORTER; IOWA: Mike Elgin, Andy Fenstermaker, MIKE KLINKENBORG, BRYAN MATTISON, Kyle Schlicher; MICHIGAN: Prescott Burgess; MICHIGAN STATE: Clifton Ryan, BRETT SWENSON; MINNESOTA: DOMINIC JONES, Logan Payne, WILLIE VANDESTEEG; NORTHWESTERN: BRENDAN SMITH, TYRELL SUTTON; OHIO STATE: KIRK BARTON, MARCUS FREEMAN, Jay Richardson, A.J. TRAPASSO; PENN STATE: Ed Johnson, ANTHONY SCIRROTTO; PURDUE: JARED ARMSTRONG, JORDAN GRIMES, CURTIS PAINTER; WISCONSIN: TRAVIS BECKUM, JONATHAN CASILLAS, MARCUS COLEMAN, ALLEN LANGFORD, Joe Stellmacher, John Stocco, ERIC VANDEN HEUVEL.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Troy Smith, Ohio State
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR: Jake Long, Michigan
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: LaMarr Woodley, Michigan
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR: LaMarr Woodley, Michigan
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: P.J. HILL, Wisconsin
*Denotes unanimous selection; # Multiple honorees due to tie


2006 All-Big Ten Conference Football Team
As selected by CONFERENCE MEDIA
(Players in ALL CAPS have 2007 eligibility)

FIRST TEAM OFFENSE SECOND TEAM
Troy Smith, Ohio State* Quarterback CHAD HENNE, Michigan
MIKE HART, Michigan* Running Back ANTONIO PITTMAN, Ohio State
P.J. HILL, Wisconsin Running Back Tony Hunt, Penn State
TED GINN JR., Ohio State Receiver JAMES HARDY, Indiana
DORIEN BRYANT, Purdue Receiver MARIO MANNINGHAM, Michigan
Doug Datish, Ohio State Center Mark Bihl, Michigan
ADAM KRAUS, Michigan Guard Mike Jones, Iowa
T.J. Downing, Ohio State Guard JORDAN GRIMES, Purdue
JAKE LONG, Michigan Tackle KIRK BARTON, Ohio State
Joe Thomas, Wisconsin Tackle Levi Brown, Penn State
Matt Spaeth, Minnesota Tight End TRAVIS BECKUM, Wisconsin
Garrett Rivas, Michigan Kicker TAYLOR MEHLHAFF, Wisconsin
 
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE SECOND TEAM
ALAN BRANCH, Michigan Line WILLIE VANDESTEEG, Minnesota
LaMarr Woodley, Michigan* Line VERNON GHOLSTON, Ohio State
Quinn Pitcock, Ohio State Line Jay Alford, Penn State
Anthony Spencer, Purdue Line MATT SHAUGHNESSY, Wisconsin
J LEMAN, Illinois Linebacker MIKE KLINKENBORG, Iowa
JAMES LAURINAITIS, Ohio State Linebacker David Harris, Michigan
Paul Posluszny, Penn State Linebacker DAN CONNOR, Penn State
Leon Hall, Michigan* Defensive Back TRACY PORTER, Indiana
MALCOLM JENKINS, Ohio State Defensive Back Brandon Mitchell, Ohio State
Antonio Smith, Ohio State Defensive Back JACK IKEGWUONU, Wisconsin
ANTHONY SCIRROTTO, Penn State Defensive Back Roderick Rogers, Wisconsin
Brandon Fields, Michigan State Punter Jeremy Kapinos, Penn State

HONORABLE MENTION: ILLINOIS: Alan Ball, VONTAE DAVIS, JASON REDA; IOWA: Scott Chandler, Mike Elgin, Miguel Merrick, BRYAN MATTISON, Marcus Paschal, Kyle Schlicher, ADAM SHADA, Marshal Yanda; MICHIGAN: JAMAR ADAMS, Prescott Burgess, SHAWN CRABLE, Rueben Riley; MICHIGAN STATE: Kyle Cook, Kerry Reed, Clifton Ryan, BRETT SWENSON, OTIS WILEY; MINNESOTA: DOMINIQUE BARBER, DOMINIC JONES; NORTHWESTERN: TYRELL SUTTON, COREY WOOTTON; OHIO STATE: ANTHONY GONZALEZ, David Patterson, Jay Richardson; PENN STATE: DEON BUTLER, Ed Johnson, JUSTIN KING, Tim Shaw, A.Q. SHIPLEY; PURDUE: JARED ARMSTRONG, George Hall, DUSTIN KELLER, Mike Otto; WISCONSIN: JONATHAN CASILLAS, JASON CHAPMAN, MARCUS COLEMAN, KEN DEBAUCHE, Joe Stellmacher, John Stocco, Mark Zalewski.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Troy Smith, Ohio State*
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: LaMarr Woodley, Michigan
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: P.J. HILL, Wisconsin
DAVE McCLAIN COACH OF THE YEAR: Bret Bielema, Wisconsin
*Denotes unanimous selection

Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Honorees: J Leman, ILL; Will Meyers, IND; Jason Manson, IOWA; Steve Breaston, MICH; Drew Stanton, MSU; Matt Spaeth, MINN; Joel Howells, NU; Antonio Smith, OSU; Levi Brown, PSU; Mike Otto, PUR; John Stocco, WIS.


 

 

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