Wisconsin running back Clay leads All-Big Ten selections

Published 1:33 am Tuesday, November 24, 2009

PARK RIDGE, Ill. — Wisconsin running back John Clay, who leads the Big Ten in rushing, was chosen Monday as the conference’s offensive player of the year.

Clay, who has 1,224 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns with one game left in the regular season, was chosen in both the media and coaches’ poll.

Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones (media vote) and Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick (coaches) shared the Big Ten defensive player of the year honors.

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Coach of the Year went to Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz, whose team finished 10-2 after a 9-0 start.

Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland was named freshman of the year.

Odrick was also chosen defensive lineman of the year and offensive lineman of the year went to Iowa tackle Bryan Bulaga.

Jones, the Big Ten Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, leads the conference with nearly 12 tackles per game and also has nine sacks.

Odrick leads the Nittany Lions with six sacks and made 10 tackles for loss during the Nittany Lions’ 10-win season. He is part of a Penn State defensive unit that ranks that ranks among the top 10 nationally in three statistical categories: scoring defense, total defense and rushing defense.

Ferentz was named coach of the year for a third time. He was also honored in 2002 and 2004.

Seven players repeated as first-round selections from 2008 — Jones, Odrick, Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker, Penn State quarterback Daryll Clark, Nittany Lions’ linebacker Navorro Bowman, Wisconsin tight end Garrett Graham and Michigan punter Zoltan Mesko.

League champion Ohio State had 10 all-conference selections: Kurt Coleman and Justin Boren, first team; Brandon Saine, Thaddeus Gibson, Cameron Heyward and Ross Homan, second team; Bryant Browning, Chimi Chekwa , Terrelle Pryor, Doug Worthington, honorable mention.