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The 2021 All-Empire Defense: Big Ten Football’s Finest Fearsome Fellows of the Fall

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Of course we prioritize this over the offense. We’re Big Ten

Syndication: Journal-Courier Nikos Frazier / Journal & Courier / USA TODAY NETWORK

After special teams, this right here is what the Big Ten is known for. Whether it be because the league fields elite defenses, or merely by contrast to the mostly plodding offenses, this is our bread & butter. So who were the best? The three-deep, as selected by multiple OTE “writers,” is below.

This defensive unit is designed to be flexible and be able to play a 3-4 or 4-3, rotating either DT’s or ILB’s depending on the matchup.

Yes, we’re distinguishing between DT and DE, as well as ILB and OLB, because I respect that these are different positions. Look at the All Big Ten D-line, as selected by the media. The depth chart is like 11 edge rushers and Keeanu Benton. I will not stand for any form of Big Man Erasure.

All-Empire Defense First Team

DE: Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan Wolverines
DT: Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin Badgers
DT: Mazi Smith, Michigan
DE: George Karlaftis, Purdue Boilermakers
OLB: Nick Herbig, WIsconsin
ILB: Leo Chenal, Wisconsin
ILB: Jack Campbell, Iowa Hawkeyes
OLB: Jojo Domann, Nebraska Cornhuskers
CB: Riley Moss, Iowa
S: Kerby Joseph, Illinois Fighting Illini
S: Jaquan Brisker, Penn State Nittany Lions
CB: Cam Taylor-Britt, Nebraska

All-Empire Defense Second Team

DE: David Ojabo, Michigan
DT: Jacob Slade, Michigan State Spartans
DT: PJ Mustipher, Penn State
DE: Haskell Garrett, Ohio State Buckeyes
OLB: Dane Belton, Iowa
ILB: Jack Sanborn, Wisconsin
ILB: Micah McFadden, Indiana Hoosiers
OLB: Jalen Graham, Purdue
CB: Joey Porter, Penn State
S: Xavier Henderson, Michigan State
S: Jack Koerner, Iowa
CB: Denzel Burke, Ohio State

All-Empire Defense Third Team

DE: Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State
DT: Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois
DT: Joe Spivak, Northwestern Wildcats
DE: Boye Mafe, Minnesota
OLB: Noah Burks, Wisconsin
ILB: Olakunle Fatukasi, Rutgers Scarlet Knights
ILB: Jack Gibbons, Minnesota
OLB: Tarique Barnes, Illinois
CB: Tariq Castro-Fields, Penn State
S: Daxton Hill, Michigan
S: Brad Hawkins, Michigan
CB: Devon Witherspoon, Illinois

Maryland, whahappen?