Wisconsin senior outside linebacker Joe Schobert was named the 2016 Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year on Monday, honoring the Big Ten Conference's best linebacker.
Schobert, a former walk-on from Waukesha, Wis., emerged in his fourth year to help lead a Wisconsin defense which ranks first in the nation in points per game allowed (13.1), third in total defense (267.1 yards per game), fifth in rush defense (97.9 yards per game allowed), and sixth in pass defense (169.2 yards per game).
He ranks tied for seventh in the nation with 18.5 tackles for loss on the season -- which also places him third among Big Ten players. He's also recorded 9.5 sacks placing him in a tie for third in the Big Ten and 11th nationally.
Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year = @BadgerFootball star Joe Schobert. Watch live: https://t.co/uAObVDPvYj https://t.co/wjBIwImEiU— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) November 30, 2015
The 6'2, 236-pound athlete also has forced five forced fumbles, second in the nation and tying Wisconsin's single-season record. He's also recorded 14 quarterback hurries in 12 games, while also earning his first career interception against Minnesota in the Badgers' 31-21 win last Saturday.
Schobert joins Chris Borland as Wisconsin linebackers who were recipients of the award, as the the former Badgers standout received the honor back in 2013. He also earned consensus first team All-Big Ten honors on Monday as well.
18.5 TFLs, 9.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles. @JoeTheShow58 is your Butkus-Fitzgerald #B1G Linebacker of the Year pic.twitter.com/olnp88rKbh— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) November 30, 2015
Though being named first team All-Big Ten by both the media and the coaches, he tweeted out support for fellow defensive teammates in redshirt senior safety Michael Caputo and redshirt junior outside linebacker Vince Biegel, who earned consensus second and third-team honors, respectively.
I have to say it is quite silly that Vince and Mike are not 1st team as well... Nobody I'd rather play with!! https://t.co/WBi4dn69SC— Joe Schobert (@JoeTheShow58) December 1, 2015