The Big Ten released the first half of its annual awards on Tuesday, with the defensive and special teams players earning recognition.
Michigan's Devin Bush was the top honoree of the group, collecting both Defensive Player of the Year and Linebacker of the Year, per the league's official site.
Pat Fitzgerald was also awarded Coach of the Year after leading Northwestern to the Big Ten title game.
Big Ten Awards
Defensive Player of the Year: Devin Bush, Michigan
Coach of the Year: Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
Defensive Lineman of the Year: Kenny Willekes, Michigan State
Linebacker of the Year: Devin Bush, Michigan
Defensive Back of the Year: Amani Hooker, Iowa
Kicker of the Year: Chase McLaughlin, Illinois
Punter of the Year: Will Hart, Michigan
Return Specialist of the Year: Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Iowa
Humanitarian Award: Jake Wood, Wisconsin
Leadership Award: Antwaan Randle El, Indiana
Northwestern was considered a longshot to win the West division despite finishing last season with a 10-3 record. After a 1-3 start to the season, the Wildcats were essentially forgotten by most analysts.
However, Fitzgerald kept his team together to win seven of the final eight games of the regular season. The squad will now have a shot at the Rose Bowl if it can beat Ohio State in the title game.
This earned him Coach of the Year honors from both the media and his fellow coaches, which he discussed Tuesday on Big Ten Network:
Meanwhile, Michigan dominated the player honors with five players on the defense named first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches. The squad also had a few names on the special teams list:
The Wolverines had one of the best defenses in the country for most of the season and Bush was the team's most important player while making plays in the backfield or in the secondary.
With Will Hart also being the top punter in the league, there was a lot of talent across the field for Michigan.
The offensive awards will be announced Wednesday, which could feature several Ohio State players after an impressive season.