Pat Nelson named B1G Freshman of Week

Illini safety leads the Illini in tackles for second time in three weeks

Illinois redshirt freshman safety Patrick Nelson was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week after leading the Illini with 14 tackles (including 1.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks) in Saturday's win at Rutgers.

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The Chicago native has 36 tackles since being inserted into the starting lineup three weeks ago. That included a 16-tackle performance in his first career start at Nebraska.

Nelson ranks tied for first among Big Ten players in tackles per game during conference play (12.0). He is the first Illini to win Freshman of the Week since Ke'Shawn Vaughn in on Nov. 9, 2015.

Watch Illini Inquirer's recent interview with Nelson in the video above.

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