Four Wolverines, two Spartans voted to BTN's All-Decade football first team
The state of Michigan was well represented in the Big Ten Network’s All-Decade football first team.
The outlet unveiled its choices throughout the week and Michigan and Michigan State combined for six players on the 27-member squad.
The Wolverines had four selections — tied for the second-most with Iowa and Wisconsin — featuring offensive tackle Taylor Lewan (2009-13), tight end Jake Butt (2013-16), all-purpose star Jabrill Peppers (2014-16) and linebacker Devin Bush (2016-18).
The Spartans were also one of seven programs with multiple picks, with cornerback Darqueze Dennard (2010-13) and late punter Mike Sadler (2011-14) making the list, which was selected by a 24-member voting panel comprised of media and analysts.
Lewan earned All-Big Ten first-team honors three times and was a first team All-American in 2012 and 2013, the same years he was named the league’s offensive lineman of the year. Butt was named the league’s tight end of the year twice and won the John Mackey Award given to the top tight end in college football in 2016. Peppers was the first player in Big Ten history to win three individual awards in the same season, a feat he accomplished in 2016 when he was named linebacker, return specialist and defensive player of the year. Bush was a two-time All-American, a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection and the conference’s linebacker and defensive player of the year in 2018.
Dennard was a unanimous first team All-American and won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back in 2013. Sadler, who died in car accident in July 2016, was twice named first-team All-Big Ten and was a first team All-American in 2013.
In addition to the Wolverines and Spartans, two Michigan natives were honored: Penn State receiver Allen Robinson (Orchard Lake St. Mary’s) and Iowa cornerback Desmond King (Detroit East English Village). Robinson, who starred for the Nittany Lions from 2011-13, was the Big Ten’s receiver of the year in 2012 and 2013 and a consensus All-American in 2013. King, who played for the Hawkeyes from 2013-16, was a two-time All-American and won the Jim Thorpe Award in 2015.
Ohio State led all Big Ten schools with seven first-team selections, and former Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer was tabbed coach of the decade.
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson (2009-12), Michigan defensive lineman Maurice Hurst (2013-17), Michigan State defensive lineman Shilique Calhoun (2012-15) and former Spartans coach Mark Dantonio were all named to the second team.