Five University of Wisconsin football players earned Associated Press All-Big Ten first-team honors when the teams were released Wednesday, including the only unanimous selection in the conference.
Badgers running back Jonathan Taylor was a first-team pick by all 27 voters after he also earned consensus first-team honors by the league’s coaches and media last week. He also won the Ameche-Dayne Big Ten Running Back of the Year Award.
Left guard Michael Deiter, center Tyler Biadasz, right guard Beau Benzschawel and inside linebacker T.J. Edwards were the other first-team selections, while right tackle David Edwards earned a spot on the second team.
UW’s five first-team selections trailed only Michigan’s seven. Five members of the Wolverine’s defense, which ranks first nationally in total defense, earned a first-team nod.
Taylor’s 1,989 rushing yards led the nation this season, and his 165.8 rushing yards per game were nearly 20 more than any other player in the country.
The sophomore’s big season came on the back of a 1,977-yard year as a true freshman in 2017, when he finished sixth in Heisman Trophy voting.
He became just the fourth player in FBS history to record back-to-back 1,900-yard rushing seasons, joining Iowa State’s Troy Davis, TCU’s LaDanian Tomlinson and Memphis’ DeAngelo Williams.
Taylor also broke an FBS record held by former UW running back Ron Dayne, amassing more rushing yards than any player through his sophomore season. Dayne accumulated 3,566 in his first two years with the Badgers.
T.J. Edwards, a four-year starter, played some of the best football of his career over the second half of this season. He’s recorded double-digit tackle totals in five of his last seven games, including a career-high 18 against Minnesota in UW’s regular-season finale.
Now at 104 tackles on the season, Edwards became the first Badgers linebacker since Chris Borland in 2013 to record more than 100 tackles.
Deiter’s 53 starts are a program record, and Benzschawel’s not far behind with 48 straight. Deiter moved back to a more natural position at left guard this season after earning All-American honors at left tackle in 2017.
Biadasz, a redshirt sophomore, enjoyed a breakout season at center and made an argument as UW’s best lineman this year.
David Edwards earned his second-team honor despite playing the entire year with a left shoulder injury.
Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins won the AP All-Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Award, while Michigan linebacker Devin Bush was named the conference’s top defender.
Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore was voted Newcomer of the Year, and Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald won Coach of the Year.