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November 26, 2012EVANSTON, Ill.-Northwestern junior place-kicker Jeff Budzien was voted the Bakken-Anderson Big Ten Co-Kicker of the Year and a first-team All-Big Ten performer by the league's coaches, highlighting NU's entries on the 2012 all-conference teams announced Monday evening.
Budzien, who shared the place-kicking honor with Nebraska's Brett Maher, wrapped up the regular season having converted 17 of his 18 field goal attempts on the year, including 6-of-7 tries from 40 yards or longer. He also is 46-of-46 on extra point attempts this year, remaining perfect for his career (46-of-46) and extending his school record for most consecutive successful PATs.
The Wisconsin native is the first NU kicker since Brian Gowins in 1997 to earn first-team All-Big Ten recognition.
On the heels of his breakout 1,300-yard rushing season, junior running back Venric Mark was named a consensus second-team All-Big Ten choice by both the coaches and conference media. The Houston native is the Big Ten leader in all-purpose yards per game (170.7) and stands fourth in the conference in total touchdowns scored with 14.
One of the men responsible for opening running lanes for Mark, senior guard Brian Mulroe, joined Mark as a second-team all-conference selection in the eyes of the media. Mulroe was an anchor on an offensive line that helped the 'Cats finish third in the Big Ten in rushing yards per game (230.9) and second in fewest sacks allowed (1.3 per game).
Seven additional Wildcats were named honorable mention All-Big Ten performers by either the conference coaches, media or both, with six of the seven making their first career appearance on the All-Big Ten report: