Gophers Earn All-Big Ten Football Recognition
Eric Decker named first team All-Big Ten
Eric Decker named first team All-Big Ten

Posted Nov 25, 2008

The All-Big Ten Conference Football Teams, as selected by the coaches and media, were announced Monday evening. Two Gophers earned All-Big Ten First Team recognition, while a total of six Minnesota players earned some form of recognition.

Junior wide receiver Eric Decker (Cold Spring, Minn.) earned first-team accolades from both the Big Ten coaches and the media. Decker’s 76 receptions this season set a new Minnesota single-season record and rank No. 1 in the Big Ten. He is No. 2 in the conference in receiving yards, averaging 84.1 yards per game.

Senior defensive end Willie VanDeSteeg (Silver Lake, Minn.) was a first-team selection by the media. VanDeSteeg finished the regular season No. 4 in the Big Ten in sacks and tackles for loss. He currently has 18.0 tackles-for-loss and 9.5 sacks this season. VanDeSteeg is also the Minnesota career leader in tackles-for-loss with 43.5.

Sophomore quarterback Adam Weber (Shoreview, Minn.) was a second-team selection by the coaches. Junior cornerback Traye Simmons (Marietta, Ga.) was named Second-Team All-Big Ten by both groups.

VanDeSteeg was a second-team choice on the coaches’ team. Senior tight end Jack Simmons (Libertyville, Ill.) was honored with second-team recognition on the media’s ballot.

Simmons was an honorable mention choice of the coaches. Meanwhile, sophomore safety Kyle Theret (Murrieta, Calif.) and Weber were honorable mention selections on the media’s all-conference team.

In addition, the coaches also named a Sportsmanship Award Honoree from each team. Jack Simmons earned that distinction for Minnesota.

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