From staff reports
ROSEMONT, Ill. — The Michigan State defense led the Big Ten in virtually every category this season and that was reflected Monday on the all-league football teams selected by the coaches and media.
The 11-1 Spartans, who face Ohio State in the league championship game Saturday night, had five defensive players named to the first-team by the coaches.
The honorees included linebacker Max Bullough, a former St. Francis standout; defensive end Shilique Calhoun; and defensive backs Darqueze Dennard, Kurtis Drummond and Isaiah Lewis. Punter Mike Sadler was picked to the coaches first-team, too.
Bullough, a three-year starter, was one of 13 repeat picks on the team. He is third on the Spartans in tackles (64), tied for second in quarterback hurries (10) and third in tackles for loss (9).
Bullough, Calhoun and Dennard were picked to the media’s first-team as well.
Dennard was tabbed as the Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year, while Calhoun was chosen as the Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, named to the first-team by the coaches and media, was selected as the Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year for the second consecutive season, the first conference player to earn back-to-back accolades since fellow-Wolverine Jake Long was honored in 2006 and 2007.
Wolverines defensive back Blake Countess was picked on the first-team by the media.
Three players earned awards for the second consecutive season — Northwestern’s Jeff Budzien was named the Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller earned the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year honor and Penn State’s Allen Robinson claimed the Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year award in back-to-back seasons.
In other Big Ten individual honors, the Wolverines’ Devin Funchess was tabbed the Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year. The Buckeyes’ Carlos Hyde was tabbed the Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year, Purdue’s Cody Webster claimed the Eddleman-Fields Punter of the Year honor, while Wisconsin’s Chris Borland was named the Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year.
The Big Ten also recognized 12 Sportsmanship Award honorees. The student-athletes chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These student-athletes must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. Among the 12: Michigan’s Courtney Avery and Michigan State’s Tyler Hoover.
A complete list of the all-Big Ten teams is on the Scoreboard page.