Michigan's Aidan Hutchinson is Big Ten's Defensive Player of Year; Jake Moody top kicker
Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson is the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and the Defensive Lineman of the Year, it was announced Tuesday. Michigan’s Jake Moody was named Big Ten Kicker of the Year.
Edge rusher David Ojabo, who has 11 sacks this season, and defensive back Dax Hill, who is second on the team with 70 tackles and is tied for a team-best two interceptions, also made All-Big Ten first team as voted by media and coaches. Hutchinson and Ojabo are the first duo in U-M history to both reach double-digit sacks in the same season.
Moody is 22-of-24 on field goals this season and has scored 116 points this season. He is 50-of-50 on extra points. Moody is the first Michigan kicker to earn the award and he also is one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award given to the top college kicker.The Big Ten defensive and special teams representatives were announced Tuesday.
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Michigan did not have any second-team representatives, but linebacker Josh Ross, who leads the team with 86 tackles, and defensive backs Vincent Gray and Brad Hawkins were named third team in the media vote. All three were honorable mention from the coaches.
Hutchinson had three sacks in Michigan’s win over Ohio State last Saturday and became the program’s single-season sack record holder. He currently has 13 as the Wolverines prepare to face Iowa on Saturday for the Big Ten championship.
There’s been considerable Heisman Trophy buzz about Hutchinson since the Ohio State victory, with coach Jim Harbaugh promoting him after the game and on Monday during a news conference.
“It’s pretty cool,” Hutchinson said of the Heisman talk during an interview on Big Ten Network. “You see it places on social media. I’m pretty locked in right now. We have a Big Ten championship to win, so that’s priority No. 1. Man, I want to put a ring on my finger by the end of Saturday.”
Hutchinson is the sixth Michigan player to earn Defensive Player of the Year, The others: Devin Bush (2018), Jabrill Peppers (2016), LaMarr Woodley (2006), Larry Foote (2001), and Charles Woodson (1997). Hutchinson is the fifth UM player to be named Defensive Lineman of the year, joining his father, Chris Hutchinson (1992), making them the first father-son to earn the honor. Woodley (2006), Mark Messner (1988), and Mike Hammerstein (1985) also earned the Defensive Lineman of the Year award.
Defensive tackles Mazi Smith and Chris Hinton were named honorable mention by the coaches and media. Cornerback D.J. Turner was honorable mention by the media, and Ross was honorable mention coaches.
The Wolverines' returner A.J. Henning, ranked No. 17 nationally in punt return average (9.3 yards per return), was third-team All-Big Ten by the coaches. Punter Brad Robbins was named honorable mention All-Big Ten on both the coaches and media ballots. Robbins is up to a 45.8-yard average, which would rank No. 2 all-time for a single season at Michigan.