Seven Illini Named to Phil Steele's All-Big Ten Teams
Dec. 2, 2010
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -
Seven Illinois football players were named to Phil Steele's All-Big Ten teams Thursday, with four earning first-team honors. Junior running back Mikel Leshoure, junior linebacker Martez Wilson, junior defensive tackle Corey Liuget and junior kicker Derek Dimke all were named to Steele's first team, while junior tackle Jeff Allen was a second-team pick and sophomore center Graham Pocic and senior punter Anthony Santella were third-team selections.
Leshoure has had a breakout 2010 campaign, leading the Big Ten in rushing in conference games with 121.6 yards per game, while his 124.6 yards per game in all games rank second behind only Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, who was named to Steele's first team as a running back/all-purpose selection. Wilson leads the Illini and ranks third in the Big Ten with 9.1 tackles per game, while also ranking fifth in tackles per loss (0.95 per game) in the league. Liuget has gained notice with his 54 tackles, 8.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks and 10 quarterback hurries this season, while Dimke leads the Big Ten in field goals per game with 1.8 and is 20-of-24 on field goals with two over 50 yards. He also has 21 touchbacks out of 67 kickoffs this season.
Allen and Pocic have anchored an offensive line that has helped the Illini average 32.9 points per game, including 46.8 ppg over the last five games, and 235.5 rushing yards per game. Allen has started 32 consecutive games and Pocic has started all 11 games this year. Santella has been stellar this season, leading the Big Ten and ranking sixth in the country in punting average at 45.6 yards per punt. He has booted a career-high 18 punts over 50 yards - including a career-best 67-yard punt against Southern Illinois on Sept. 11 - and has landed 14 punts inside the 20 yard line.