The Big Ten Conference announced its individual awards on Thursday morning, and three Wisconsin Badgers—tight end Troy Fumagalli, head coach Paul Chryst and running back Jonathan Taylor—took home honors.
Fumagalli claimed the Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year award. The team captain currently leads the Badgers in receptions this season (38), is second in receiving yards (471) and is tied for second in receiving touchdowns (four).
The former walk-on joins former standout Jacob Pedersen as the two Wisconsin tight ends who have been named to this honor since the award has come out.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Fumagalli’s 51st game of his UW career will be played inside Lucas Oil Stadium when Wisconsin (12-0, 9-0 Big Ten) faces Ohio State (10-2, 8-1) in the Big Ten Championship Title Game (7:17 p.m. CT, FOX).
Chryst was honored with both the Hayes-Schembechler and Dave McClain Coach of the Year awards given out by the coaches and media, respectively, after leading Wisconsin to a undefeated, 12-0 record.
The former Badger player and assistant took over the program from Gary Andersen and has only gone on to post three 10-win plus seasons in each of his first three years—putting him in elite category with Michigan’s Fielding Yost and Ohio State’s Urban Meyer as the only three coaches to do so in conference history.
Taylor did not win the conference’s running back of the year, but earned the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year award. He has rushed for 1,806 yards through 12 games, putting him within 120 yards of breaking the official NCAA freshman rushing record of Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson [writer’s note: insert snide comment about Ron Dayne’s 1996 season and NCAA not counting bowl games until 2002].
The true freshman running back is the eighth Wisconsin player to earn that distinction.