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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, March 24, 2023

Football: Ball, Pedersen among Badger Big Ten honorees

The Wisconsin football team was once again well represented on the Big Ten all-conference teams on both sides of the ball and claimed the top player in the conference at two offensive positions.

Senior running back Montee Ball, the recent NCAA’s career leader in touchdowns with 79, received the Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year for the second consecutive year after rushing for league-best 1,168 rushing yards—an average of 146.0 rushing yards per game—to go along with 15 touchdowns in conference play.

Additionally, redshirt junior tight end Jacob Pedersen, who registered four touchdown receptions on the year, was named Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year.

Joining Ball as consensus first-team selections were redshirt junior wide receiver Jared Abbrederis and redshirt senior right tackle Ricky Wagner. Junior center Travis Frederick and senior linebacker Mike Taylor were both honored with a first-team selection by the media and honorable mention by the coaches.

Junior linebacker Chris Borland and Pederson were additionally honored with a first-team selection by the conference coaches while being voted honorable mention by the media.

Junior left guard Ryan Groy and redshirt senior cornerback Devin Smith were among the honorees on the second team voted by the coaches and were voted honorable mention by the media.

To round out the all-conference selections, junior defensive tackle Beau Allen, redshirt senior cornerback Marcus Cromartie, redshirt junior defensive end David Gilbert, redshirt freshman punter Drew Meyer and redshirt junior safety Dezmen Southward were all consensus honorable mention honorees while redshirt junior defensive tackle Ethan Hemer was voted honorable mention by the coaches. Additionally, senior safety Shelton Johnson received the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.

With seven first-team selections, Wisconsin tied Ohio State for most in that category. Including last year, the Badgers have had 16 first-team selections the past two seasons.

Wisconsin, who is looking to win their third league title in as many years and clinch an unprecedented third-straight trip to Pasadena, will play in its second consecutive Big Ten Championship Saturday in Indianapolis against Legends Division champion Nebraska.

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