‘Tis the season for gift giving, peppermint lattes, gaudy Christmas light displays by your neighbors and All-American team announcements by a myriad of media outlets. Despite a disappointing season overall, the Wisconsin Badgers are well represented on these lists so far. In fact, the Big Ten as a conference have players littered throughout these lists in all three phases (#PuntToWin).
The Athletic released their first and second All-America teams ($) today and the nation’s leading rusher Jonathan Taylor and the Big Ten’s best offensive lineman Michael Dieter represented Wisconsin on the first team.
Taylor, who has rushed for 1,989 yards (7.1 yards per carry) and 15 touchdowns, should probably get used to graciously accepting these postseason honors. Dieter is in the same boat as Taylor in terms of graciously accepting postseason awards, and should routinely find his name listed amongst the top offensive linemen in the nation.
Hopefully he gets to give acceptance speeches in the accent of his choice.
Pro Football Focus also released their All-America teams today and surprise, surprise Taylor was the first running back listed. This time, however, THREE Badgers’ o-linemen made the list. Redshirt sophomore center Tyler Biadasz and redshirt senior guard Beau Benzschawel were also named to the first team, while the aforementioned Dieter was an honorable mention guard. Redshirt senior inside linebacker T.J. Edwards must have offended someone as I couldn’t find his name listed anywhere on either website’s list. Smdh.
According to PFF’s grades, Biadasz was the best run blocking center in the country and Benzschawel was the second best run blocking guard in the country. No wonder Taylor rushed for so many danged yards this season.
Other notable Big Ten honorees include Michigan’s Devin Bush (linebacker), B1G Roast Crush and Purdue’s Rondale Moore (returner), Michigan State’s Kenny Willekes (defensive end), who were all first-team selections for The Athletic Ohio State punter Drue Chrisman was on The Athletic’s second-team and Iowa’s Amani Hooker (FLEX) claimed a first-team selection for PFF.