In a release Monday, the Big Ten announced Northwestern junior linebacker Collin Ellis had been named the conference’s defensive player of the week. This is not a surprising announcement: it’s not often you see a linebacker return two interceptions for touchdowns in critical game-turning situations, and with no other Big Ten player doing anything remotely as impressive as Ellis on the defensive side of the ball this week, his honor felt like a formality. Without Ellis' two defensive touchdowns, the second-half momentum shift prefiguring Northwestern pulling away from an offensively explosive Cal team might never have happened in the first place. Ellis did big things Saturday night.
The very, very likely was confirmed Monday, in other words.
InsideNU’s own Callie Counsellor described Ellis’s tremendous night in exhilarating detail.