Big Ten teams may have had an unimpressive showing in the bowl season when it came to final results, but that doesn’t mean the players had similar performances.
The Associated Press released its All-Bowl team Wednesday, highlighting the best performances from this bowl season. In the list, four Big Ten players were honored for their standout performances. Three of those four were offensive players, while the other was a special teams player.
Northwestern’s Justin Jackson, who was 4 yards away from breaking the Pinstripe Bowl rushing yards record, was one of the AP’s selection for the All-Bowl team’s running back position. Jackson ran for 224 yards on 32 carries while scoring three touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 31-24 win over Pittsburgh.
Penn State running back Saquon Barkley also made the All-Bowl team, but as an all-purpose player. Barkley had 194 rushing yards, 55 receiving yards and also totaled 57 return yards in the Nittany Lions’ 52-49 loss to USC in the Rose Bowl.
Minnesota’s Matt Leidner, brother of quarterback Mitch Leidner, was selected an one of the AP’s five All-Bowl offensive lineman. Leidner wasn’t even supposed to play in the Gophers’ 17-12 win in the Holiday Bowl, but injuries forced him into action.
Finally, Michigan punter Kenny Allen was listed on the All-Bowl team for his Orange Bowl average of 47.4 yards per punt. He landed four of his eight punts inside the Florida State 20-yard line in the Wolverines’ 33-32 loss to Florida State.
Three Big Ten players also made the All-Bowl team as honorable mentions: Minnesota’s Blake Cashman, Wisconsin’s Troy Fumagalli and Penn State’s Chris Godwin.