Nineteen and Counting

Wisconsin junior tight end Garrett Graham and senior cornerback Allen Langford get selected to the Big Ten First Team by the media, which was announced by the Big Ten Monday.

MADISON - Every year since 1990, at least one Wisconsin player has been selected to the first-team All-Big Ten every year, a streak of 18 straight seasons.

Even after a season of up and down performances, that streak continues.

Despite missing the first two games of the Big Ten season, junior tight end Garrett Graham made enough of an impression on the Big Ten media, being selected to the conference's first team, which was announced Monday night by the conference.

Graham was joined by senior cornerback Allen Langford as the only two Badgers selected by the media to the first team. No Wisconsin players were selected to the first team by the conference's coaches and both Graham and Langford was slotted as members of the second team by the coaches.

Despite suffering a foot injury that rendered him incapable early in the conference season, Graham was still able to grab 37 receptions for 458 yards and five touchdowns. With youthful wide receivers, Graham was the catalyst of the offense, leading UW in catches seven times and yards five times. Graham did most of his work in the middle of the season, catching 23 passes for 280 yards in weeks seven through 10.

Langford took over the number one cornerback role this season and despite having plenty of underclassmen cornerbacks working opposite him, the Detroit native still made his mark. Langford has already set career highs in tackles (42) and pass deflections (14), a mark that finished second in the conference.

Joining senior lineman Kraig Urbik (media) and Graham on the second team, is sophomore David Gilreath was well deserving of his second-team selection by the coaches for being one of the most balance offensive players in the conference. Gilreath caught 30 passes for 515 yards and three touchdowns while he rushed for 290 yards and two scores.

Gilreath established a career high in receiving yards with 125 in the season finale against Cal Poly and a career high in rushing yards with 168 against Indiana.

Defensively, senior Mike Newkirk and sophomore Jay Valai were selected to the second team by the coaches.

Newkirk, who also earned honorable mention all-league honors from the media, finished his career with a bang. He was named the Big Ten defensive player of the week after recording seven tackles, including two QB sacks for 6 yards, and a safety against Minnesota and finished with a career-high eight tackles against Cal Poly.

Eight other Badgers earned honorable mention recognition. Junior running back P.J. Hill, senior guard Andy Kemp, senior linebacker DeAndre Levy, senior defensive end Matt Shaughnessy, senior tackle Eric Vanden Heuvel and freshman kicker Philip Welch were all consensus honorable mention choices (coaches and media).

Senior linebacker Jonathan Casillas and senior defensive tackle Jason Chapman were honorable mention choices by the coaches.

Senior fullback Chris Pressley was named UW's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award Honoree.

Shonn Greene of Iowa was named offensive player of the year, James Laurinaitis from Ohio State was given defensive player of the year honors for the second consecutive year (the third time a player has won in back to back years) and Penn State head coach Joe Paterno was named the Dave McClain Big Ten Coach of the Year, his third time winning the award.


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