John Clay named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year
Badger sophomore tailback John Clay was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year tonight as the conference announced it's All-Conference Teams.
Clay is just the sixth sophomore ever to earn the honor. He's Wisconsin's third winner, joining Brent Moss and Ron Dayne. With one regular-season game remaining, Clay currently leads the Big Ten with 1,224 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. His average of 111.3 yards per contest ranks 16th nationally.
Though I'm late with this link, make sure you read this endorsement for Clay's candidacy for OPOY.
Joining Clay in receiving top accolades, Badger linebacker Chris Borland was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
From the press release: "Borland was tabbed as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year by both the coaches and media, the first defensive player to earn top freshman accolades since Purdue defensive back Stuart Schweigert was honored in 2000. The Ohio native is the first Badgers defender to earn freshman laurels and the sixth overall, joining running backs P.J. Hill (2006), Anthony Davis (2001) and Dayne (1996) and quarterbacks Brooks Bollinger (1999) and Tony Lowery (1987). Borland ranked second in the conference and is tied for fifth nationally with five forced fumbles while also collecting 51 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, three fumble recoveries and an interception."
Overall, five Badgers were named All-Conference, three were named to the second team and seven players received honorable mention nods. The complete list, from the Journal-Sentinel article:
Clay was one of five Badgers to be named first-team all-conference. Clay was joined on the mediaâ€™s first-team All-Big Ten ballot by junior guard John Moffitt, junior tackle Gabe Carimi, senior tight end Garrett Graham and senior defensive end Oâ€™Brien Schofield. Clay, Moffitt and Schofield were also first-team selections by the coaches.
The coachesâ€™ second-team included Carimi, Graham and safety Jay Valai.
Seven Badgers earned honorable mention All-Big Ten including Valai (media), Borland (media and coaches), senior safety Chris Maragos (media and coaches), sophomore wide receiver Nick Toon (media and coaches), junior quarterback Scott Tolzien (coaches), sophomore punter Brad Nortman (coaches) and sophomore defensive end J.J. Watt (media).
Maragos was also recognized as Wisconsinâ€™s Big Ten Sportsmanship honoree.