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December 2, 2013
Five Huskers named to All-Big Ten teams
Both Ameer Abdullah and Randy Gregory were named first-team All-Big Ten selections by both the media and the coaches Monday afternoon. Ciante Evans was one of six defensive backs named to the first team by the coaches while being a second-team selection by the media, while Stanley Jean-Baptiste made both second teams. Center Cole Pensick was named to the second team by the coaches. He was also an honorable mention selection by the media.
Seven other Huskers got honorable mention status: defensive end Jason Ankrah (coaches and media); wide receiver Kenny Bell (coaches and media); offensive tackle Andrew Rodriguez (coaches and media); offensive tackle Jeremiah Sirles (coaches and media); safety Corey Cooper (coaches); kicker Pat Smith (media).
Abdullah led the conference with 1,568 rushing yards and averaged 130.7 yards per game, second only to Ohio State's Carlos Hyde. Abdullah rushed for 100 yards or more in 10 of Nebraska's 12 games, but Hyde, who missed the first three games of the season thanks to a suspension, took home the conference's running back of the year award thanks to his 143.3 yards per game and 14 touchdowns.
Big Ten Network analyst Howard Griffith said on the selection show that while it's hard to argue with Hyde taking the award home, Abdullah made a great case for himself.
"What an outstanding talent he is," Big Ten Network analyst Howard Griffith said during the selection show. "When they lost Taylor Martinez, he became the guy that made things happen."
Gregory was the other Husker to be named to both first teams. The sophomore led the conference with 9.5 sacks and was second with 15.5 tackles for loss. Gregory also picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown, but Michigan State's Shilique Calhoun was named the Big Ten's Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Evans led all Big Ten defensive backs with 10.5 tackles for loss and tied for second with four interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. The senior also defended nine passes.
Jean-Baptiste also had four interceptions, including a pick six, before teams began throwing away from him. He still finished fifth in the conference with 15 passes defended. Both Evans and Jean-Baptiste helped the Huskers finished with the Big Ten's fourth-best passing defense (205.8 yards per game).
Pensick was part of a Nebraska offensive line that blocked for the league's third-most proficient rushing attack and allowed just 16 sacks. Fighting through an injury, Pensick spent time at both guard and center thanks to other injuries along the line.
First-Team All-Big Ten: IB Ameer Abdullah (Coaches and Media); DE Randy Gregory (Coaches and Media); DB Ciante Evans (Coaches)
Second-Team All-Big Ten: Evans (Media); CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste (Coaches and Media); C Cole Pensick (Coaches)
Honorable-Mention All-Big Ten: Pensick (Media); DE Jason Ankrah (Coaches and Media); WR Kenny Bell (Coaches and Media); OT Andrew Rodriguez (Coaches and Media); OT Jeremiah Sirles (Coaches and Media); S Corey Cooper (Coaches); PK Pat Smith (Media)