>>DuVernois, Dudek Named to All-Big Ten Teams
Senior punter Justin DuVernois and freshman wide receiver Mike Dudek both were named All-Big Ten second team on Monday, while five other Fighting Illini were honorable mention selections.
DuVernois was a second-team selection by both the media and coaches, while Dudek was a second-team pick by the media and honorable mention by the coaches. Junior cornerback V'Angelo Bentley, junior offensive lineman Ted Karras and junior linebacker Mason Monheim were honorable mention selections by both the media and coaches, while junior defensive end Jihad Ward was voted honorable mention by the league's coaches and sophomore safety Taylor Barton by the media. Senior quarterback Reilly O'Toole was Illinois' honoree for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
DuVernois is having one of the most prolific punting seasons in Illinois history. He ranks second in the Big Ten and 14th in the nation in punting average (44.4 ypp), which currently stands as the fourth-best punting season in school history, one yard behind record-holder Steve Weatherford's 45.4 average in 2004 campaign. For the season, DuVernois has 19 punts over 50 yards, including six over 60 yards and a long of 74. He also has had 19 punts downed inside the 20, including nine inside the opponent's 10 yard line. During his four-year career, DuVernois ranks second in school history in career punting yards (10,377), second in in career punts (249) and third in career punting average (41.67 ypp).
Dudek was the Big Ten's top receiver in conference play, posting 50 catches for 716 yards (89.5 yards per game) and three touchdowns. For the season, he leads all FBS freshmen in receiving yards per game (80.4) and has broken Illinois' freshman records for receptions (69) and receiving yards (965), previously held by Freshman All-American Arrelious Benn, while tying the touchdowns mark (6) held by College Football Hall of Famer David Williams. With a bowl game likely, Dudek needs 35 yards to post the eighth 1,000-yard receiving season in school history.
Information courtesy of fightingillini.com
>>17 Redbirds Make All-Missouri Valley Conference Teams
A total of 17 Illinois State football players were named to the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference teams Monday by the league office, highlighted by six MVFC First-Team selections that included MVFC Offensive Player of the Year Marshaun Coprich and MVFC Newcomer of the Year, Tre Roberson.
Coprich, who became the fourth player in school history to earn the MVFC Offensive Player of the Year Award, led the league in rushing yards (1,683), touchdowns (21) and yards per game (153.0) during the regular season with the Redbirds. The Victorville, California, native rushed for over 100 yards in every game this season, setting a school and league mark for consecutive 100-plus yard games, and an ISU single-season record with 21 rushing touchdowns. During the season, he was named the MVFC Offensive Player of the Week twice and had several breakout performances, including eight games with multiple touchdowns and six games with over 150 yards rushing.
Roberson, the first player in school history to be named the MVFC Newcomer of the Year, started all 11 games at quarterback and led the Redbirds to a 10-1 record during the regular season, in his first with ISU after transferring from Indiana. The Indianapolis, Indiana, native led the MVFC in total offense (261.1 ypg) and with a pass efficiency rating of 150.8. He accounted for 29 total touchdowns (21 pass, 8 run) and finished the season with 2,198 passing yards. A three-time MVFC Newcomer of the Week selection, Roberson also rushed for 674 yards and eight scores on the ground to lead the way for a dangerous ISU offensive attack that led the conference in total offense (451.5 ypg), rushing offense (241.4 ypg) and scoring offense (38.7 ppg).
The six first-team selections are the most since 2012, when the Redbirds set a school record with eight players selected to the All-MVFC First Team. Joining Coprich and Roberson on the first team were senior offensive tackle Jermaine Barton, senior long snapper Chris Highland, junior defensive end Teddy Corwin and junior middle linebacker Pat Meehan.
Six seniors were among the seven players selected to the All-MVFC Second Team. Wide receiver Lechein Neblett, tight end James O'Shaughnessy, offensive lineman Rocco Ammons, defensive tackle Bradon Prate, defensive back Mike Banks and punter CJ Laros all earned Valley Football plaudits in their final seasons, and were joined by freshman fullback Bryce Holm.
Senior offensive tackle Michael Liedtke, safety Dontae McCoy and return specialist Tevin Allen were also named All-MVFC Honorable Mention selections in the annual vote, along with junior defensive end David Perkins.
Information courtesy of GoRedbirds.com
>>Wisconsin RB, Ohio State QB Highlight All Big Ten Team
Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon and Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett were selected first-team, all-Big Ten and took top individual honors at their positions.
Both players led their teams to this week's conference championship game in Indianapolis.
Gordon leads the nation with a Big Ten-record 2,260 yards rushing for the Badgers (10-2, 7-1), who won the West division title. He also held the FBS single-game record for one week, running for 408 yards against Nebraska last month before Oklahoma's Samaje Perine put up 427 against Kansas.
The Buckeyes (11-1, 8-0) took the East, with Barrett throwing for 2,834 yards with a school-record 34 touchdowns before breaking his ankle Saturday.
>>SMU Hires Clemson OC Morris As Head Coach
(Dallas, TX) -- Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris is the new head football coach at Southern Methodist University. Morris takes over an SMU team that is 0-and-11 this season. Morris helped Clemson to 41 wins and a pair of Orange Bowl appearances during his four-year stint with the Tigers. The 45-year-old spent 16 seasons as a high school coach in Texas, going 169-and-38. SMU wraps up its season this Saturday at UConn.
>>Auburn Fires Defensive Coordinator
(Auburn, AL) -- After surrendering 55 points to rival Alabama in the Iron Bowl on Saturday, Auburn is dismissing defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson. Head coach Gus Malzahn says the move is what's best for the program, and thanked Johnson for his service to the team. The Tigers rank 10th out of 14 teams in scoring defense in the SEC, allowing over 26 points per game. Johnson has coached more than 18 years in the conference. ESPN.com reports there is mutual interest between Auburn and recently-dismissed Florida head coach Will Muschamp for the position.
>>Karageorge's Brain To Be Examined
(Columbus, OH) -- The brain of Ohio State football player Kosta Karageorge will be examined for evidence of concussion-related damage. The Franklin County coroner says concussions reported by Karageorge may have impacted his mental condition before his apparent suicide. Some of Karageorge's teammates told "The Columbus Dispatch" that he never appeared to have any problems and suspect he never reported any head injuries to team doctors. Karageorge's body and a gun were found over the weekend in a dumpster less than a mile from his apartment. The 22-year-old is believed to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot.