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Brandon Joseph and Greg Newsome II earn All-American honors

Northwestern’s star defensive backs earn the recognition they deserve

Nebraska v Northwestern Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Northwestern’s Sky Team continues to rack up the awards this season, as safety Brandon Joseph and cornerback Greg Newsome II both received Associated Press All-American honors. Joseph was named to the first team while Newsome earned third-team honors.

The redshirt freshman safety adds another prestigious award to his long list of accolades in his debut season. He was the only freshman to make the first team this year. He is also the first NU player to earn the honor since Jeff Budzien in 2013, the first defensive player since Pat Fitzgerald in 1996 and the first freshman since Tom Myers in 1962.

He led the nation with six interceptions on the year, the most a Wildcat has recorded in a single season since Willie Lindsey had a program-high seven in 1991, and he recorded 49 tackles, which ranks fourth-best on the team.

In addition to his All-American honors, Joseph was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year, earned all-conference first-team recognition and was graded the best strong safety in all of college football by Pro Football Focus prior to the Big Ten Championship game.

He joins three other Big Ten honorees on the first team: Ohio State offensive lineman Wyatt Davis, Iowa defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon and Ohio State safety Shaun Wade.

Newsome earned consensus First Team All-Big Ten honors in addition to being named the Associated Press’ Big Ten first team and the third team for the national list.

The Chicago native played in five games this season did not allow a third-down completion (0-for-9) during the regular season and ranked first among cornerbacks in the conference for completion percentage at 31.6%. He led the Big Ten in 2020 with 10 passes defended, recording nine pass-breakups and an interception.

Newsome suffered a lower-body injury in the conference championship game and declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.