Devin Bush, Pat Fitzgerald Honored as 2018 Big Ten DPOY, Coach of Year

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 27, 2018

Michigan linebacker Devin Bush plays against Indiana in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

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.

Related

    FSU Apologizes for Photoshopped MLK Tweet

    College Football logo
    College Football

    FSU Apologizes for Photoshopped MLK Tweet

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report

    Taulia Tagovailoa Shares Thoughts Battling Tua for Starting QB Job

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Taulia Tagovailoa Shares Thoughts Battling Tua for Starting QB Job

    Andrew Olson
    via Saturday Down South

    The Best QB in Every CFB Conference for 2019

    College Football logo
    College Football

    The Best QB in Every CFB Conference for 2019

    Brad Shepard
    via Bleacher Report

    Who Are the Draft's Biggest Bust Candidates?

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Who Are the Draft's Biggest Bust Candidates?

    Kristopher Knox
    via Bleacher Report