Dec. 3, 2013
Rosemont, Ill. – For the second consecutive season, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller was named the Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year, the Big Ten Conference announced on Tuesday. Also among Tuesday’s individual award winners from the 2013 football season were Wisconsin’s Chris Borland as the Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year, Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg as the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year and Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio as the Hayes-Schembechler and Dave McClain Coach of the Year.
Since the honor began in 1990, Miller becomes the first player in Big Ten history to claim two consecutive Offensive Player of the Year awards. The only other player to earn the conference's top offensive honor twice was Purdue quarterback Drew Brees (1998 and 2000). Prior to 1990, Indiana running back Anthony Thompson won two consecutive Player of the Year Awards in 1988 and 1989. Miller is the fifth Buckeye to collect the award, along with Joe Germaine (1998), Orlando Pace (1996) and Heisman Trophy winners Troy Smith (2006) and Eddie George (1995). The Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year for the second straight year, Miller averaged 265 yards of total offense per game and accounted for 29 total touchdowns in leading Ohio State to a perfect 12-0 record.
Voted first-team All-Big Ten for the third straight season, Borland is the fifth Badger to receive the conference’s top defensive award, following Erasmus James (2004), Jamar Fletcher (2000), Tom Burke (1998) and Troy Vincent (1991). Borland was named the Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year and leads Wisconsin and ranks third in the conference with 9.3 tackles per game. He also tied the conference record with his 14th career forced fumble earlier this season.
An honorable mention All-Big Ten selection, Hackenberg is the third Nittany Lion and second in as many seasons to be named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, joining Deion Barnes (2012) and Curtis Enis (1995). The quarterback ranked third in the conference with 246.2 passing yards per game and connected on 20 touchdown passes. Hackenberg was named the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Week five times this season, which ranks second since the award began in 2010.
Dantonio claims his second Big Ten Coach of the Year laurel in the last four years after being honored in 2010, when he became the fourth Michigan State coach to earn the award. In his seventh year in East Lansing, Dantonio led the Spartans to an 11-1 overall mark, including an 8-0 record in conference play and the outright Legends Division title. He coached six players to first-team All-Big Ten status, including Shilique Calhoun, the Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year, and Darqueze Dennard, the Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year.
For more information on the Big Ten’s enhanced football awards program, and to read more about the trophy namesakes, visit bigten.org.
Big Ten Football Award Honorees and Trophy Namesakes
Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year: Braxton Miller, Ohio State
Named for Northwestern’s Otto Graham and Ohio State’s Eddie George
Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year: Chris Borland, Wisconsin
Named for Minnesota’s Bronko Nagurski and Michigan’s Charles Woodson
Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year: Christian Hackenberg, Penn State
Named for Minnesota’s Darrell Thompson and Indiana’s Antwaan Randle El
Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year (coaches vote): Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
Named for Ohio State’s Woody Hayes and Michigan’s Bo Schembechler
Dave McClain Coach of the Year (media vote): Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
Named for Wisconsin’s Dave McClain