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Wisconsin football: Leo Chenal named Big Ten Linebacker of the Year, entire starting defense earns all-conference honors

Chenal and Jack Sanborn were first-team all-B1G and then the other nine starters earned recognition too.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 20 Nebraska at Wisconsin Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Big Ten Conference started announcing their end of season awards on Tuesday morning with the defensive, special teams and coach of the year honors. They also had the coaches and media pick their all-conference teams. The offensive awards and freshman of the year will be announced on Wednesday starting at 11 a.m. CT.

Despite not having the season they would’ve like record-wise, the Wisconsin Badgers defense was a dominant unit all season and the postseason awards reflect that. First off, star ILB Leo Chenal was named the Butkus-Fitzgerald Big Ten Linebacker of the Year, while also obviously being on the first team defense. Chenal recorded 106 tackles and seven sacks even after missing the first two games of the season.

ILB Jack Sanborn was also on the first team and NT Keeanu Benton was on the second team. The third team featured DE Matt Henningsen and CB Caesar Williams while the honorable mention section featured OLBs Noah Burks and Nick Herbig, safeties Collin Wilder and Scott Nelson, CB Faion Hicks and DE Isaiah Mullens.

I don’t know how often an entire team’s defense makes some level of all-conference honors, but this is nice recognition for Jim Leonhard’s unit this year.

Michigan DE Aidan Hutchinson won Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year, Iowa’s Riley Moss was Defensiveback of the Year, Michigan’s K Jake Moody was Kicker of the Year, Penn State’s Jordan Stout was named Punter of the Year and Iowa’s Charlie Jones was the Returner of the Year. Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker was named the Coach of the Year by both the media and his fellow coaches.