Ball, Pedersen lead All-Big Ten Badgers
Seven Wisconsin players named to first team
CHICAGO — Two Badgers were named the best at their positions in the All-Big Ten Conference football awards.
In all, 15 Badgers were honored, including seven first-team selections.
Senior running back Montee Ball was named the Ameche-Dayne Running Back of the Year for the second-consecutive season.
Ball became the NCAA’s all-time touchdown leader with his 79th career touchdown against Penn State on Saturday.
The senior finished conference play with a league-best 1,168 rushing yards, averaging 146.0 rushing yards per game, and 15 touchdowns.
Ball earned the inaugural award, which is named for former Badgers — and Heisman Trophy winners — Alan Ameche and Ron Dayne, after tying the NCAA record with 39 touchdowns in 2011.
Junior tight end Jacob Pedersen was named the Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year. The award is named for Penn State’s Ted Kwalick and Iowa’s Dallas Clark.
Pedersen recorded his fourth touchdown reception of the season on a pass from Curt Phillips with eight seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime vs. Ohio State.
Pedersen’s 14 career TD receptions are tied for 11th all-time at UW.
Ball and Pedersen, together with five teammates, also earned first-team All-Big Ten honors, tying Ohio State for most first-team selections in the league with seven.
Last year, UW had a school-record nine first-team selections. Prior to that, the last time that Wisconsin has as many as seven first-team All-Big Ten selection was 1999.
Ball, junior wide receiver Jared Abbrederis and senior left tackle Rick Wagner earned consensus first team honors.
Junior center Travis Frederick and senior linebacker Mike Taylor were each voted first team by the media and both earned honorable mention selection from the coaches.
Pedersen and junior linebacker Chris Borland were voted first team by league coaches and honorable mention by the media.
Junior left guard Ryan Groy earned a second-team nod from the coaches and honorable mention honors from the media, while senior corner back Devin Smith was voted second team by the media and honorable mention by the coaches.
CB Marcus Cromartie, DE David Gilbert, P Drew Meyer and S Dezmen Southward were consensus honorable mention selections, while DT Ethan Hemer was selected honorable mention by the coaches.
Senior safety Shelton Johnson was selected as Wisconsin’s Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner.
The Badgers continue their season with a trip to the Big Ten Football Championship Game on Saturday, where they will face Legends Division champion Nebraska at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Wisconsin is looking to win its third-consecutive Big Ten title and its third-consecutive trip to the Rose Bowl.