Big Ten Announces 2005 Football All-Conference Teams And Individual Honors

Penn State's Michael Robinson was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year by the coaches.

Penn State's Michael Robinson was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year by the coaches.

Nov. 22, 2005

Park Ridge, Ill. - The Big Ten announced the 2005 All-Conference football teams and individual award winners today as selected by the coaches and a media panel. For just the sixth time since the award's inception in 1982, two different standouts were honored as the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in Northwestern's Brett Basanez (media) and Penn State's Michael Robinson (coaches). The Nittany Lions, who earned a share of the Big Ten title, picked up two more individual laurels when Joe Paterno was tabbed as the media's choice for the Dave McClain Coach of the Year while Tamba Hali was a unanimous selection by the coaches as the Defensive Lineman of the Year. Fellow league co-champion Ohio State also collected some hardware with A.J. Hawk sweeping Defensive Player of the Year accolades from both groups. The Wildcats picked up another individual award with Tyrell Sutton being tabbed the Freshman of the Year by both coaches and media, while the coaches honored Minnesota's Greg Eslinger as the Offensive Lineman of the Year.

Basanez and Robinson are the first players to share Offensive Player of the Year honors since 1998, when Ohio State's Joe Germaine and Purdue's Drew Brees split the end-of-year award. The Big Ten also featured at least two honorees in 1997, 1990, 1987 and 1985.

Robinson boosted the Nittany Lions to their second Big Ten championship since joining the conference in 1993 to become the third PSU player to earn Offensive Player of the Year laurels, along with Curtis Enis (1997) and Kerry Collins (1994). The senior quarterback led the Big Ten's top-scoring offense to 35.2 points per outing in league games only, an increase of more than three touchdowns over an offensive attack that ended the 2004 campaign ranked last in the conference (12.9 points per game). Robinson has already established a school record with 2,882 yards of total offense this season, shattering the previous mark set by Collins in 1994, and has been responsible for 27 touchdowns, just two shy of a new program-best.

Basanez is the first Northwestern player to collect Offensive Player of the Year accolades after helping the Wildcats return to a bowl game for the second time in his career. The senior quarterback guided an offense that led the way in league games only with 494 yards per outing. He also topped the Big Ten in total offense for the second time in his career with 339.4 yards per contest, making him just the second player in the last 20 years to average more than 300 yards per game along with Purdue's Brees. Basanez joined Brees and Iowa's Chuck Long as just the third signal caller in conference history to surpass 10,000 career passing yards and is one of only three players (along with Purdue's Brees and Kyle Orton) to appear among the top five in career passes, completions, passing yards, total offensive plays and total offensive yards.

Hawk became the third Ohio State standout in the last four years to earn Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors following Will Smith (2003) and Michael Doss (2002) and the fifth honoree in school history. The senior linebacker is the only defender to rank among the Big Ten's top five in tackles (5th at 9.9 per game), sacks (4th with 7.5) and tackles for loss (4th with 13.0) for all games. He has spearheaded an Ohio State attack that leads all schools in conference games only in scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense and passing defense, the first unit to accomplish that feat since Michigan in 2001. Hawk is a finalist for the Butkus, Lombardi and Walter Camp Player of the Year Awards and a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award and Lott Trophy.

Penn State claimed two other individual honors with Hali being tabbed as the Big Ten's Defensive Lineman of the Year and Paterno picking up his second Coach of the Year award. Hali is the third Nittany Lion to be honored as the Defensive Lineman of the Year along with Jimmy Kennedy (2002) and Courtney Brown (1999). The senior defensive end, who is a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy and Ted Hendricks Award, led the Big Ten in all games with 11 sacks and 17 tackles for loss. Paterno guided the Nittany Lions to a share of their second Big Ten title since joining the league in 1993, producing a 7-1 mark to finish atop the league standings just one year after placing ninth in the conference with a 2-6 record. In his 40th year as a head coach, Paterno collects his second Big Ten Coach of the Year laurel after being previously honored during a perfect season in 1994. The Dave McClain Big Ten Coach of the Year award is voted on by a conference media panel and is named for the late Wisconsin coach, who served at the Badgers' helm from 1978-1985. The league dedicated this award to his honor in 1986.

Sutton is the second Northwestern player to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors and the first since Ed Sutter shared the award in 1988. The true freshman running back ranked among the nation's top 10 in both rushing and scoring this season, setting school freshman records with 126.4 rushing yards (second in league, fifth nationally) and 9.8 points (third in league, ninth nationally) per game. For the year, Sutton has produced a conference-best 1,390 yards on the ground in all games, averaging 6.0 yards per carry with 18 total touchdowns.

Eslinger became the first Minnesota player to collect Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year honors after blocking for an attack that ranked among the league's top three in rushing yards (1st with 259.2 yards per game), total yards (2nd with 477.0 yards per game) and scoring (3rd with 31.9 points per game) in conference contests only. The senior is also only the fifth player in Gophers history to earn first team All-Conference honors in three straight seasons and the first since linebacker Billy Light accomplished the feat from 1970-72.

Overall, there are 19 individuals repeating as members of the All-Big Ten first or second team from a year ago, including eight first-team selections from 2004 who are on this year's first team - Iowa's Chad Greenway, Michigan's Matt Lentz, Adam Stenavich and Gabe Watson, Minnesota's Eslinger, Laurence Maroney and Mark Setterstrom and Ohio State's Hawk. Eslinger and Hawk are the only three-time first-team All-Big Ten honorees, as Hawk is the first Buckeye to earn three straight selections since Doss from 2000-02.

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, Russ Richardson of Indiana, Abdul Hodge of Iowa, Carl Tabb of Michigan, Kyle Brown of Michigan State, Eslinger of Minnesota, Basanez of Northwestern, Nate Salley of Ohio State, Robinson of Penn State, Brandon Villarreal of Purdue and Jonathan Orr 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 2005 All-Big Ten Teams and individual honors follows.


2005 All-Big Ten Conference Football Team
As selected by CONFERENCE COACHES
(Players in ALL CAPS have 2006 eligibility)
FIRST TEAMOFFENSESECOND TEAM
Brett Basanez, NorthwesternQuarterbackMichael Robinson, Penn State
LAURENCE MARONEY, Minnesota* Running BackTYRELL SUTTON, Northwestern
BRIAN CALHOUN, WisconsinRunning BackTONY HUNT, Penn State
Jason Avant, MichiganReceiverMark Philmore, Northwestern
SANTONIO HOLMES, Ohio StateReceiver Brandon Williams, Wisconsin
Greg Eslinger, MinnesotaCenterNick Mangold, Ohio State
Mark Setterstrom, MinnesotaGuardMatt Lentz, Michigan
Rob Sims, Ohio StateGuardJORDAN GRIMES, Purdue
LEVI BROWN, Penn StateTackleAdam Stenavich, Michigan
JOE THOMAS, WisconsinTackleZach Strief, Northwestern
MATT SPAETH, MinnesotaTight EndTim Massaquoi, Michigan
Josh Huston, Ohio StateKickerKYLE SCHLICHER, Iowa
FIRST TEAMDEFENSESECOND TEAM
Gabe Watson, MichiganLineVictor Adeyanju, Indiana
Mike Kudla, Ohio StateLineAnthony Montgomery, Minnesota
Tamba Hali, Penn State*LineBarry Cofield, Northwestern
Scott Paxson, Penn StateLineQUINN PITCOCK, Ohio State (tie)
Rob Ninkovich, Purdue (tie)
Chad Greenway, IowaLinebackerAbdul Hodge, Iowa
A.J. Hawk, Ohio StateLinebackerTim McGarigle, Northwestern
PAUL POSLUSZNY, Penn StateLinebackerBobby Carpenter, Ohio State
Nate Salley, Ohio StateDefensive BackJovon Johnson, Iowa
DONTE WHITNER, Ohio StateDefensive BackLEON HALL, Michigan
ASHTON YOUBOTY, Ohio State (tie)Defensive BackEric Smith, Michigan State
Calvin Lowry, Penn State (tie)Defensive Back
Alan Zemaitis, Penn State
KEN DEBAUCHE, WisconsinPunterSteve Weatherford, Illinois
HONORABLE MENTION: ILLINOIS: Ryan Matha; IOWA: Antwan Allen, Ed Hinkel, KENNY IWEBEMA, MARCUS PASCHAL, ALBERT YOUNG; MICHIGAN: PRESCOTT BURGESS, TYLER ECKER, Leo Henige, Grant Mason, Pat Massey, GARRETT RIVAS, LAMARR WOODLEY; MICHIGAN STATE: Domata Peko, JERRAMY SCOTT, Stefon Wheeler; MINNESOTA: TONY BRINKHAUS, Keith Lipka, GARY RUSSELL; NORTHWESTERN: MARQUICE COLE, Herschel Henderson; OHIO STATE: Marcus Green, ANTONIO PITTMAN, Anthony Schlegel, TROY SMITH; PENN STATE: JAY ALFORD, DEON BUTLER, Chris Harrell, JEREMY KAPINOS, Matthew Rice; PURDUE: DORIEN BRYANT, MIKE OTTO, SEAN SESTER, Brandon Villarreal; WISCONSIN: Jason Pociask, JOE STELLMACHER.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Michael Robinson, Penn State
OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR: Greg Eslinger, Minnesota
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: A.J. Hawk, Ohio State
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE YEAR: Tamba Hali, Penn State*
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: TYRELL SUTTON, Northwestern

*Denotes unanimous selection

2005 All-Big Ten Conference Football Team
As selected by CONFERENCE MEDIA
(Players in ALL CAPS have 2006 eligibility)
FIRST TEAMOFFENSESECOND TEAM
Brett Basanez, NorthwesternQuarterbackMichael Robinson, Penn State
LAURENCE MARONEY, Minnesota Running BackALBERT YOUNG, Iowa
BRIAN CALHOUN, WisconsinRunning BackTYRELL SUTTON, Northwestern
Jason Avant, MichiganReceiverJAMES HARDY, Indiana
SANTONIO HOLMES, Ohio StateReceiver DORIEN BRYANT, Purdue
Greg Eslinger, MinnesotaCenterNick Mangold, Ohio State
Matt Lentz, MichiganGuardLeo Henige, Michigan
Mark Setterstrom, MinnesotaGuardRob Sims, Ohio State
Adam Stenavich, MichiganTackleZach Strief, Northwestern
JOE THOMAS, WisconsinTackleLEVI BROWN, Penn State
MATT SPAETH, MinnesotaTight EndTim Massaquoi, Michigan
Josh Huston, Ohio StateKickerKYLE SCHLICHER, Iowa
FIRST TEAMDEFENSESECOND TEAM
KENNY IWEBEMA, IowaLineVictor Adeyanju, Indiana
Gabe Watson, MichiganLineJAY ALFORD, Penn State
Mike Kudla, Ohio StateLineMatthew Rice, Penn State
Tamba Hali, Penn State*LineRob Ninkovich, Purdue
Chad Greenway, IowaLinebackerAbdul Hodge, Iowa
A.J. Hawk, Ohio State*LinebackerTim McGarigle, Northwestern
PAUL POSLUSZNY, Penn StateLinebackerBobby Carpenter, Ohio State
Jovon Johnson, IowaDefensive BackLEON HALL, Michigan
Nate Salley, Ohio StateDefensive BackMARQUICE COLE, Northwestern
ASHTON YOUBOTY, Ohio StateDefensive BackCalvin Lowry, Penn State
Alan Zemaitis, Penn StateDefensive BackRODERICK ROGERS, Wisconsin
KEN DEBAUCHE, WisconsinPunterSteve Weatherford, Illinois
HONORABLE MENTION: INDIANA: Kyle Killion; IOWA: Antwan Allen, Brian Ferentz, Ed Hinkel, MITCH KING; MICHIGAN: TYLER ECKER, Grant Mason, Pat Massey, GARRETT RIVAS, LAMARR WOODLEY; MICHIGAN STATE: Domata Peko, Eric Smith, DREW STANTON, Stefon Wheeler; MINNESOTA: TRUMAINE BANKS, TONY BRINKHAUS, STEVE DAVIS, Anthony Montgomery, John Pawielski, GARY RUSSELL; NORTHWESTERN: Barry Cofield, Herschel Henderson, SHAUN HERBERT; OHIO STATE: Marcus Green, TED GINN JR., QUINN PITCOCK, ANTONIO PITTMAN, TROY SMITH, DONTE WHITNER; PENN STATE: DEON BUTLER, Chris Harrell, TONY HUNT, Scott Paxson; PURDUE: JORDAN GRIMES, MIKE OTTO, Matt Turner, Brandon Villarreal; WISCONSIN: NICK HAYDEN, Jason Pociask, Donovan Raiola, MATT SHAUGHNESSY, JOE STELLMACHER, Brandon Williams.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Brett Basanez, Northwestern
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: A.J. Hawk, Ohio State
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: TYRELL SUTTON, Northwestern
DAVE McCLAIN COACH OF THE YEAR: Joe Paterno, Penn State

*Denotes unanimous selection

Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Honorees: J LEMAN, ILL; Russ Richardson, IND; Abdul Hodge, IOWA; Carl Tabb, MICH; Kyle Brown, MSU; Greg Eslinger, MINN; Brett Basanez, NU; Nate Salley, OSU; Michael Robinson, PSU; Brandon Villarreal, PUR; Jonathan Orr, WIS.