Eleven Nebraska players were honored by the Big Ten Conference on Monday, being named to 2014 All-Big Ten Conference football teams.
Two Huskers earned first-team All-Big Ten accolades, with three others being chosen as second-team honorees, while six players were honorable-mention all-conference choices.
Junior defensive end Randy Gregory was a first-team All-Big Ten choice by both the conference coaches and the conference media. Gregory is among the Big Ten leaders with seven sacks despite missing the majority of four games this season.
The 6-6, 245-pound Gregory had 50 total tackles, including 10 tackles for loss, while adding a team-high 16 quarterback hurries. He also blocked two field goals, broke up three passes and had an interception. This marks the second straight season Gregory has been a first-team All-Big Ten pick, making him Nebraska’s first two-time all-conference honoree on the defensive line since Ndamukong Suh in 2008 and 2009.
Gregory is joined on the coaches’ first-team squad by senior wide receiver Kenny Bell. The 6-1, 185-pound Bell led Nebraska with 717 yards on 40 receptions and his 17.9 yards per catch ranked among the conference leaders. Bell also had a team-high five touchdowns receptions, including two touchdown catches in Nebraska’s overtime victory at Iowa in the regular-season finale.
Bell became Nebraska’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yardage earlier this season. Bell was an honorable-mention selection by the conference media. This is the third straight year Bell has been honored by the Big Ten. He was a second-team pick as a sophomore in 2012 and earned honorable-mention accolades in 2013.
Senior I-back Ameer Abdullah was a second-team All-Big Ten choice by both the coaches and the media. Abdullah ranks among the top 10 nationally in rushing yards, scoring and all-purpose yards. He finished the regular season with 1,523 rushing yards and 18 total touchdowns. He also became Nebraska’s career leader in all-purpose yards, while ranking second in Big Ten history in that category.
The Doak Walker Award finalist was joined on the second team by Minnesota running back David Cobb, while fellow Doak Walker finalists Melvin Gordon and Tevin Coleman occupied the two first-team spots.
Like Bell, Abdullah was honored for the third straight year. Abdullah was a first-team choice on both teams in 2013, after being a second-team All-Big Ten pick by the coaches in 2012.
Abdullah was also honored as Nebraska’s Sportsmanship Award Honoree.
Joining Abdullah in earning second-team honors were a pair of sophomore defenders. Defensive tackle Maliek Collins was named to the second team on the coaches’ listing, while safety Nate Gerry was a second-team choice by the media.
Collins is tied for the team lead with 12 tackles for loss, including 3.5 sacks. The Kansas City native also ranks second on the team with 14 quarterback hurries and made 40 total tackles. Gerry led the Big Ten in interceptions in conference games with five picks in eight league games. He ranked second overall on the team with 85 tackles, including 47 solo stops and seven tackles for loss. Gerry also forced a pair of fumbles, had a fumble recovery and returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown.
Six additional Huskers earned honorable-mention all-conference accolades. Players named to the coaches’ honorable-mention list include Gerry, senior linebacker Zaire Anderson, senior guard Jake Cotton, sophomore punter Sam Foltz, junior tackle Alex Lewis and senior cornerback Josh Mitchell.
The media honorable-mention list includes Anderson, Bell, Collins, Cotton, Lewis, Mitchell and senior safety Corey Cooper. Cooper was a repeat honorable-mention choice.
All-Big Ten Selections
Randy Gregory, Jr., DE (Media, Coaches)
Kenny Bell, Sr., WR (Coaches)
Ameer Abdullah, Sr., IB (Media, Coaches)
Maliek Collins, Soph., DT (Coaches)
Nate Gerry, Soph., S (Media)
Zaire Anderson, Sr., LB (Media, Coaches)
Corey Cooper, Sr., S (Media)
Jake Cotton, Sr., G (Media, Coaches)
Sam Foltz, Soph., P (Coaches)
Alex Lewis, Jr., OT (Media, Coaches)
Josh Mitchell, Sr., CB (Media, Coaches)