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Anthony Walker named All-Big Ten first team; five other defensive players honored

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Six Northwestern players were named to the All-Big Ten defensive teams when the conference released the squads Monday night.

The Wildcats' lead representative was Anthony Walker, a sophomore middle linebacker who was named to the first team by both the coaches and media after racking up 113 tackles this season, good enough for fourth in the Big Ten. Walker is also tied for the conference lead with 19.5 tackles for loss this season. Walker is the first Northwestern player to be named to the first team since kicker Jeff Budzien in 2013.

Defensive lineman Dean Lowry, a four-year standout for the Wildcats, was named to the second team by both the coaches and media after a stellar senior season. Lowry was named an All-Big Ten honorable mention last season.

Lowry is joined on the second team (for both the coaches and media) by senior cornerback Nick VanHoose.

Junior cornerback Matt Harris, who plays opposite VanHoose, was tabbed on the third team by both the coaches and media after ranking third in the conference in passes defensed per game this season. Harris missed two game with fractured bones in his face, which likely kept him off the first and second teams.

Senior defensive end Deonte Gibson and sophomore kick returner Solomon Vault were also picked by the media for the Big Ten's third team and by the coaches as honorable mentions.

Sophomore safety Godwin Igwebuike was left off the All-Big Ten lists after being one of Northwestern's most consistent players on defense. A major factor in defending both the run and pass, Igwebuike was second on the team in tackles this season.

Here are the complete teams, courtesy



The All-Big Ten offensive teams will be released Tuesday night on Big Ten Network.