Northwestern redshirt senior defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo was named to the All-Big Ten team by the media, and All-Big Ten second team by the coaches.
Odenigbo led the conference with 10 sacks and contributed 12 tackles for a loss. Four of those sacks came against Iowa, and two against Michigan State. He also had two forced fumbles on the season.
Odenigbo’s numbers are especially impressive because he missed games against Ohio State and Purdue with a foot injury. This is Odenigbo’s first career All-Big Ten recognition.
Junior safety Godwin Igwebuike was named to the All-Big Ten second team by the coaches.
Igwebuike, a ball-hawking, versatile safety, led Northwestern with 101 tackles. He finished Top 10 in the conference in total tackles. Igwebuike has only had one game the entire season where he registered less than 6 tackles.
Junior linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. joins Igwebuike as All-Big Ten second team as determined by the coaches.
It’s been a tough season at times for Walker, who was clearly playing through injury at the beginning of the year. He still registered 98 tackles, had 10 tackles for a loss, and forced three fumbles.
Walker picked up his fair share of preseason accolades, including All-Big Ten first team honors. The talented linebacker didn’t quite reach those heights, but overall put together another very solid season.
Also on the defensive side, sophomore Montre Hartage earned All-Big honorable mention from the media.
The sophomore corner was thrust into a starting role with the season-ending injury of Keith Watkins, and ultimately put together a solid season. Hartage finished the season tied for 5th in the conference in passes defended, and tied for 2nd in interceptions.
In special teams, junior Solomon Vault earned recognition for a consecutive year, receiving All-Big Ten third team honors as a kick returner.
Northwestern’s career kick return leader had the second highest average among players with at least 20 returns, trailing only Iowa’s Desmond King.
Here are the complete defensive and special teams: