Two Big Ten players were included on the AP All-America First Team when the rosters were released Tuesday, but don't think they were alone in being honored on a national level.
Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard was able to add another line to his increasingly impressive resume when he was named one of the two cornerbacks on the First Team. This coming after perhaps the brightest star on the Spartans' star-studded defense won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's best defensive back last week and earned a bevy of conference honors before that, including Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year.
Dennard was joined on the All-America First Team defense by Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier, who was also a member of the All-Big Ten First Team.
But the Big Ten honors didn't stop there.
Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year Taylor Lewan (Michigan), Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Linebacker of the Year Chris Borland (Wisconsin) and Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year Shilique Calhoun were all named to the All-America Second Team. Meanwhile, a whopping 10 players from the Big Ten were named to the All-America Third Team: Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde, Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah, Ohio State offensive lineman Jack Mewhort, Penn State offensive lineman John Urschel, Wisconsin offensive lineman Ryan Groy, Penn State wide receiver Allen Robinson, Northwestern kicker Jeff Budzien, Minnesota defensive lineman Ra'Shede Hageman and Michigan State linebackers Max Bullough and Denicos Allen.
All in all, a total of 15 Big Ten players were named to the three teams. That ranked second among the conferences only to the SEC, which sent 18 players to the three teams. The Pac-12 sent 14, the ACC sent 12 and the Big 12 sent nine.