Eight Wisconsin football players were honored Tuesday when the Big Ten announced the coaches and media all-conference teams.
Receiver Lee Evans and free safety Jim Leonhard each earned consensus first-team honors while linebacker Alex Lewis made the coaches' first-team defense and defensive tackle Anttaj Hawthorne was a first-team selection by the media. Lewis earned second team honors from the media and Hawthorne earned second-team honors from conference coaches.
Badger guard Dan Buenning was named to the media's second team and was a coaches' honorable mention selection. In addition, center Donovan Raiola (coaches and media), linebacker Jeff Mack (media) and running back Dwayne Smith (coaches) earned honorable mention acclaim.
Michigan running back Chris Perry was the consensus Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year while Ohio State defensive end Will Smith earned consensus Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and the coaches' Defensive Lineman of the Year. The media tabbed Michigan State's John L. Smith as coach of the year and Minnesota tailback Laurence Maroney freshman of the year. Maroney shared the freshman honor with Michigan receiver Steve Breaston. Iowa offensive tackle Robert Gallery was named coaches' Offensive Lineman of the Year.
Wisconsin's Evans led the Big Ten in receiving yards and was a consensus first-team choice for the second time in his career. He has 1,162 receiving yards this season and also led the conference with 1,545 in 2001. This year, Evans is also second in the conference in touchdown catches (12) and fourth in receptions (60).
Leonhard led the conference in interceptions for the second consecutive year, following up his 11 in 2002 with six this season. He also led Wisconsin with 93 total tackles and 60 solo tackles. Last year, Leonhard was named first-team all-conference by the media and second-team by the coaches.
Hawthorne finished tied for second in the conference in tackles for loss (20) and had 70 total tackles. Lewis finished fourth in tackles for loss (15) and tied for sixth in sacks (8) with teammate Jonathan Welsh. Lewis, who played rush end at times this season, is the only non-defensive lineman to finish in the top 10 in either sacks or tackles for loss. He also forced three fumbles and had 79 tackles this season.