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Twenty Wolverines earn All-Conference Honors

November 29th, 2017 by Justin Potts

(Melanie Maxwell)

Michigan finished the regular season fourth in the Big Ten East, but was well represented on the All-Big Ten teams, most notably on the defensive side. Altogether, the Wolverines had 20 different players earn All-Conference honors.

The All-Big Ten defense and special teams were named on Tuesday and Michigan and 10 of its 11 defensive starters earn honors, second only to Wisconsin, which had 12.

Senior defensive tackle Maurice Hurst was a unanimous first-team selection by both the coaches and the media after recording 59 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, one pass breakup, two quarterback hurries, and one forced fumble.

Sophomore defensive end Rashan Gary was a first-team selection by the coaches but a second-team selection by the media. He recorded 62 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, a team-high seven quarterback hurries, and a forced fumble. Alternatively, senior end Chase Winovich was named to the first team by the media and second team by the coaches. He recorded 74 tackles and led the team with 17.0 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks, in addition to five quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery.

Sophomore defensive back Lavert Hill was named to the second team by the coaches and third team by the media, while fellow sophomore Viper Khaleke Hudson was a second-team selection by the media and third team by the coaches. Hill recorded 24 tackles, five for loss, two interceptions, and seven pass breakups, while Hudson notched 72 tackles, 16.5 for loss, 7.5 sacks, two interceptions, seven pass breakups, four quarterback hurries, and two forced fumbles. Hudson set a Big Ten record with eight tackles for loss in a single game against Minnesota.

Sophomore linebacker Devin Bush was a first-team selection by the coaches and second-team by the media after leading the team with 94 tackles in addition to 9.5 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, a team-high eight pass breakups, an interception and a quarterback hurry.

Senior linebacker Mike McCray and junior safety Tyree Kinnel were both third-team selections by both the coaches and media. McCray was the team’s second-leading tackler with 75 and notched 13.0 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, five quarterback hurries, a pass breakups and a forced fumble. Kinnel recorded 67 tackles, 4.5 for loss, 1.0 sack, seven pass breakups and two interceptions.

Sophomore safety Josh Metellus was an honorable mention selection by both the coaches and media after recording 49 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, five pass breakups, and a forced fumble. Sophomore defensive back David Long was the final member of the defense earning All-Conference honors as he was named to the third team by the media. Long tallied 20 tackles, 2.0 for loss, 0.5 sacks, two interceptions, and four pass breakups on the season.

Senior safety Brandon Watson was the lone defensive starter left off the All-Conference teams.

Sophomore kicker Quinn Nordin was an honorable mention special teams selection by both the coaches and media after converting 15-of-20 field goal attempts with a long of 55 yards. However, after making 11 of 13 in non-conference play, he was just 4-of-7 in Big Ten play. Freshman receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones was an honorable mention selection by the media as a punt returner. He averaged 8.53 yards per return — which ranked fourth in the conference among players with at least 10 returns — including a 79-yard touchdown against Air Force.

Finally, freshman punter Brad Robbins was named honorable mention All-Big Ten by the coaches. He averaged 40.93 yards per punt with four booted over 50 yards and 18 of 58 punts downed inside the 20 compared to just four touchbacks.

The All-Big Ten offensive teams were announced on Wednesday and Michigan found seven players among those honored. Senior offensive lineman Mason Cole and sophomore lineman Ben Bredeson were both unanimous second-team selections by both the coaches and media, while junior running back Karan Higdon was a third-team selection by both. Higdon led the Wolverines in rushing with 929 yards and 11 touchdowns on 6.3 yards per carry. He finished seventh in the conference with 77.4 yards per game, but fourth in average per carry among backs with at least 130 carries.

Sophomore running back Chris Evans was an honorable mention selection by the coaches after finishing second on the team with 661 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 5.2 yards per carry. He was also effective in the passing game, catching 14 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown.

Sophomore tight end Sean McKeon and junior tight end Zach Gentry were both honorable mention selections by the media. The duo ranked second and third on the team in receiving yards with 285 and 276, respectively. They also combined for five touchdown receptions. McKeon was the team’s leading pass catcher with 29 receptions. ‘

Finally, senior lineman Patrick Kugler was named honorable mention by the media and fifth-year senior fullback Henry Poggi was Michigan’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree.

The Big Ten individual awards will be announced on Thursday.