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The Shermies 2019: Big Ten Football Players of the Year

Three prestigious trophies are handed out

NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Ohio State vs Wisconsin Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Flaming Atlanta Trophy for Offensive Player Of The Year

This trophy commemorates one of the great offensive performances of all time in General Sherman’s march to the sea. This is given to the player who most embodied the spirit of burning down a city, destroying the infrastructure surrounding it and salting the earth.

Also Receiving Votes: David Bell, Purdue Boilermakers; Jack Coan, Wisconsin Badgers; Tyler Johnson, Minnesota Golden Gophers; Sean Clifford, Penn State Nittany Lions

5th Place: Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota (13 pts)

Bateman was part of Minnesota’s prolific trio, but stood out by racking up nearly 1200 yards on a ridiculous 20.5 yards per reception and 11 touchdowns

4th Place: Tanner Morgan, QB, Minnesota (22 pts)

Morgan led the Big Ten in passing yards with 2,975 and put up 28 TD’s to only 6 picks

3rd Place: J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State Buckeyes (63 pts, 4 first place votes)

Scoring 21 total TD’s during the regular season, this workhorse toted the rock 250 times for over 1600 yards, putting up his best games against top-level competition like Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan.

2nd Place: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin (64 pts, 2 FPV)

Taylor was the engine that made the Badgers offense go, racking up just under 2,000 yards from scrimmage in the regular season with 25 touchdowns

And the winner of the 2019 Flaming Atlanta Trophy is...Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (70 pts, 11 FPV)

NCAA Football: Big Ten Championship-Ohio State vs Wisconsin Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Fields produced 12.0 adjusted yards per pass attempt and a 190.3 passing efficiency rating. tossing 37 regular season touchdowns and adding 10 on the ground. What put him over the top is that he continued to demonstrate the skills he showed at Georgia; handing the ball off good AF, as evidenced by third place for this award.

TurboButkus Trophy for Defensive Player of the Year

Imagine Dick Butkus, but if his intake manifold were fed compressed air provided by a turbine driven by his exhaust gases. That’s the glory of this award.

Also Receiving Votes: Micah Parsons, Penn State Nittany Lions; Khaleke Hudson, Michigan Wolverines; Chris Orr, Wisconsin; Joe Gaziano, Northwestern Wildcats

5th Place: Dele Harding, LB, Illinois Fighting Illini (19 pts)

The senior was second in the nation with 143 tackles, including 12.5 TFL’s, but he also forced two fumbles, recovered two fumbles, and returned two of his three interceptions for touchdowns.

4th Place: Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin (36 pts)

The most prolific of Wisconsin’s linebackers, Baun had 12.5 sacks among 50 solo tackles while forcing two fumbles and scoring a pick-six.

3rd Place: A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa Hawkeyes (43 pts)

Epenesa put up 9 sacks and 12.5 TFL’s while forcing 3 fumbles and was a disruptive force at the edge of the line, also swatting away three passes while dominating opposing tackles all year.

2nd Place: Antoine Winfield, Jr., S, Minnesota (53 pts)

The Minnesota safety was all over the field, racking up 83 tackles, 3 sacks, two forced fumbles and leading the Big Ten with seven interceptions. This number was good for the #4 spot nationally. His 58 solo tackles also ranked #4 in the Big Ten.

And the winner of the TurboButkus Trophy, by unanimous decision with 17 first place votes (85 pt) , is Chase Young, Ohio State DE!

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Michigan Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

In just ten games, Young racked up a league-leading 19.5 TFL’s and led the nation with 16.5 sacks, also tying Jake Hansen of Illinois with a nation-leading 7 forced fumbles. There was no argument here.

Sadler-Foltz Trophy for Special Teams Player of the Year

Off Tackle Empire commemorates the late Michigan State Spartans punter Mike Sadler and the late Nebraska Cornhuskers punter Sam Foltz with this award. Life is callous and unfair; let’s remember the joy these two brought us during their time in the Big Ten.

Also Receiving Votes: Logan Justus, Indiana Hoosiers

5th Place: Javon Leake, KR, Maryland Terrapins (26 pts, 1FPV)

The Terps RB returned 30 kicks for 799 yards, which was good for 3rd in the nation. Two touchdowns helped his 26.6 yards per return average

4th Place: Blake Haubeil, K, Ohio State (28 pts, 1FPV)

8 for 10 on field goals, but Haubeil gets the nod here for his 79-for-79 performance on extra points

3rd Place: Adam Korsak, P, Rutgers Scarlet Knights (39 pts, 1FPV)

The Ray Guy Award semifinalist finished the year fifth in the nation with 76 punts and second with 3,327 punting yards. Korsak put 31 inside the 20 with only 2 touchbacks and mitigated a lot of damage to Rutgers with a 43.8 yard average

2nd Place: Keith Duncan, K, Iowa (65 pts, 6 FPV)

The centerpiece of an Iowa offense designed around the three point shot, Keith Duncan attempted and made more field goals than any other kicker in the country. His 29 for 34 performance was instrumental to Iowa being Iowa yet again. Despite being the only placekicker for Iowa, he attempted 9 more field goals than extra points.

And the 2019 Sadler-Foltz Trophy for Special Teams Player of the Year is...Illinois punter Blake Hayes, with 72 points and 8 first place votes!

NCAA Football: Iowa at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

The Eddleman-Fields Punter of the Year adds another trophy to his case after a dominating performance in his junior season. Hayes averaged 44.8 yards on 72 punts, with two touchbacks and 28 downed inside the 20. I’ve covered his credentials at length; I wish I knew where to find punts inside the 10 and the 5 because I have a feeling he excelled there. Hayes is #22 on the all-time Big Ten punting yardage list and #6 in career punt average. Congratulations to all the award winners!