2021 Preseason CFN Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year
RB Mohamed Ibrahim, Sr. Minnesota
There isn’t a ton of flash, and he might not be at the hype level of a star quarterback, but Ibrahim is a tough, steady producer going into his fourth season as one of the nation’s best running backs.
Minnesota didn’t have the passing game of the 2019 team, and there wasn’t the running back rotation of the 2018 version, but Ibrahim still battled with 20 or more carries in every game. He ran the ball over 200 times in the seven game season for 1,076 yards and 15 scores. He’ll once again be a 100-yard machine.
Keeping with the theme of steady-over-sensational for the Big Ten preseason top players …
2021 Preseason CFN Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year
LB Olakunie Fatukasi, Sr. Rutgers
Who’s Olakunie Fatukasi? No, he’s not an elite NFL prospect like some of the other Big Ten defensive talents, and he doesn’t play for Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin or Penn State. Also, Tyshon Fogg might be the longtime main man for the Rutgers defense, but the 6-1, 234-pound senior is a tough all-around defender. All he did was lead the Big Ten in tackles in 2020.
He wasn’t new to the mix. A bit smaller but still tough, he came up with 85 tackles as a junior, but under the new coaching staff he followed it up by doing just about everything with 101 stops with three sacks and 11 tackles for loss.
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