Clay earns Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year; Borland wins Freshman of the Year - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Clay earns Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year; Borland wins Freshman of the Year

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MADISON, Wis. - Sophomore running back John Clay was named consensus Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year while true freshman linebacker Chris Borland earned consensus conference Freshman of the Year honors, the Big Ten announced Monday night. In all, 12 Badgers earned All-Big Ten mention, including five first-team selections.

Clay is the just the third Badger in school history to earn Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors, joining running backs Brent Moss (1993) and Ron Dayne (1999). He leads the Big Ten in rushing in all games (111.3 ypg.) and paced the league during conference games (121.0 ypg.). Clay's 13 touchdowns also lead all Big Ten players as did his 10 TDs in league play. With one regular-season game left, Clay has rushed for 1,224 yards, good for 14th on UW's single-season list. He has seven 100-yard rushing games this year, including six in conference games. 

Borland has made his mark on both defense and special teams while becoming the sixth UW player to earn conference Freshman of the Year honors. The Kettering, Ohio, native led the Badgers in tackles during the Big Ten season with 46, despite starting just the last four games. He is tied for the conference lead with three fumble recoveries and tied for second in the league with five forced fumbles. That makes him just the third player in UW history with at least three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in the same season. In addition, Borland ranks third on the Badgers with 7.5 tackles for loss and also recorded an interception and punt block during the season. 

In addition to earning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors, Clay was one of five Badgers to be named first-team all-conference. Clay was joined on the media'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 O'Brien Schofield. Clay, Moffitt and Schofield were also first-team selections by the coaches. 

The coaches' 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 Wisconsin's Big Ten Sportsmanship honoree.

 

Notes on Wisconsin's All-Big Ten honorees

  • UW's five first-team All-Big Ten selections are the school's most since 2004.
  • The last time the Badgers had four offensive players named first-team all-conference was in 1999.
  • Nine of the 12 Wisconsin players honored by the Big Ten have eligibility remaining.
  • The only other time Wisconsin had a Big Ten Player of the Year (offense or defense) and a Big Ten Freshman of the Year in the same season was in 1999 when Ron Dayne was named the conference's Offensive Player of the Year and Brooks Bollinger earned Freshman of the Year honors.
  • Clay is the just the third Badger in history to earn Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors, joining running backs Brent Moss (1993) and Ron Dayne (1999).
  • Clay is the sixth sophomore to win Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, joining Purdue quarterback Drew Brees (1998), Michigan running backs Tyrone Wheatley (1992) and Jon Vaughn (1990) and Michigan State running backs Tico Duckett (1990) and Lorenzo White (1985).
  • Clay joined Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones as the only unanimous selections on either the coaches or media first-team, as both earned every vote from the media.
  • Borland is the sixth UW player to earn conference Freshman of the Year honors (Tony Lowery – 1987, Ron Dayne – 1996, Brooks Bollinger – 1999, Anthony Davis – 2001, P.J. Hill – 2006).
  • Borland is the first defensive player in UW history to win Big Ten Freshman of the Year and the first in the conference since Purdue defensive back Stuart Schweigert in 2000.
  • Graham (first-team media, second-team coaches) and Valai (second-team coaches) are the only UW players to earn All-Big Ten honors in each of the last two seasons.
  • Nick Toon's father, Al, was a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection (1983, 1984).

 

Wisconsin All-Big Ten honorees

LB Chris Borland, Fr.                              Big Ten Freshman of the Year (media and coaches)

                                                                      Honorable mention All-Big Ten (media and coaches)

T Gabe Carimi, Jr.                                    First-team All-Big Ten (media)

                                                                      Second-team All-Big Ten (coaches)

RB John Clay, So.                                     Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year (media and coaches)

                                                                      First-team All-Big Ten (media and coaches)

TE Garrett Graham, Sr.                           First-team All-Big Ten (media)

                                                                      Second-team All-Big Ten (coaches)

S Chris Maragos, Sr.                               Honorable mention All-Big Ten (media and coaches)

                                                                      Big Ten Sportsmanship honoree

G John Moffitt, Jr.                                    First-team All-Big Ten (media and coaches)

P Brad Nortman, So.                                 Honorable mention All-Big Ten (coaches)

DE O'Brien Schofield, Sr.                       First-team All-Big Ten (media and coaches)

QB Scott Tolzien, Jr.                               Honorable mention All-Big Ten (coaches)

WR Nick Toon, So.                                   Honorable mention All-Big Ten (media and coaches)

S Jay Valai, Jr.                                          Second-team All-Big Ten (coaches)

                                                                      Honorable mention All-Big Ten (media)

DE J.J. Watt, So.                                       Honorable mention All-Big Ten (media)

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Courtesy: UW Media Relations

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