Buchanan, Thornton Named to All-Big Ten Teams

Michael Buchanan
Michael Buchanan

Nov. 26, 2012

2012 All-Big Ten Teams

PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Senior defensive end Michael Buchanan and senior offensive tackle Hugh Thornton were both named to the All-Big Ten second team by conference coaches on Monday, while four others were honorable mention selections by the media and coach panels.

Junior defensive tackle Akeem Spence was an honorable mention honoree by the coaches, while Buchanan, Thornton, junior linebacker Jonathan Brown, senior cornerback Terry Hawthorne, senior center Graham Pocic and Spence were all honorable mention selections by the media. Junior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was Illinois' honoree for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award for the second straight year.

Buchanan, who started all 12 games this season and made 32 career starts over the last three year, led the Fighting Illini in sacks (4.5) and QB hurries (5) and ranked second on the team in tackles for loss (7.0) and passes defended (6), a total that ranks fifth nationally among defensive linemen.

Hugh Thornton

Thornton, meanwhile, was a mainstay on the offensive line for the last four years, starting 35 games in his career at both guard and tackle, including 10 this season at left tackle. He consistently graded out as the Illini's top offensive lineman in 2012.

Buchanan also was a second-team honoree last season, while this year marks the first all-conference accolade of any kind for Thornton.

Spence has been a constant force on the defensive line throughout his UI career, starting all 38 games over the last three seasons. He had a big junior season, posting 62 tackles, 7.0 TFLs and one sack. Brown posted 59 tackles, a team-high 9.5 TFLs and 2.5 sacks despite missing the final three-plus games due to injury, while Hawthorne led the team with seven passes defended, giving him 23 for his career, which is good for eighth in UI history. Pocic anchored the Illinois offensive line for the last three years along with Thornton, starting 36 games at all three offensive line positions (center, guard and tackle).