Wisconsin had a history-making regular season run, and the players who got the Badgers there are getting national recognition for it. Those honors continued to roll in on Monday as the Associated Press issued its All-American teams.
Leading the charge of five Badgers to earn AP All-American honors was junior inside linebacker T.J. Edwards. He continues a long streak of linebackers being honored by the AP, giving UW its third straight season of a linebacker being named to the first team and four in the last five seasons.
He joins Chris Borland (2013), Joe Schobert (2015) and T.J. Watt (2016) on the list of linebackers as first-team All-American picks by the AP.
Edwards had a banner year in all aspects of the game, racking up 75 total tackles, 11.0 TFLs and a team-high (tie) four interception en route to being named the runner-up for the Butkus Award, which is given out to the nation’s best linebacker.
Wisconsin had second-team picks in freshman RB Jonathan Taylor and senior TE Troy Fumagalli and third-team selections in junior RG Beau Benzschawel and sophomore RT David Edwards in addition to T.J. Edwards.
The five honorees ties the previous school record, which was set in 2010. That year featured first-teamers Gabe Carimi and John Moffitt, second-team picks Lance Kendricks and J.J. Watt and third-team selection John Clay as AP All-American picks.
Taylor continued to break the freshman mold, being the only true freshman named to any of the AP All-American teams after racking up nearly 1,900 yards on the ground heading in to the Orange Bowl against Miami (FL). He needs just 79 yards in the Orange Bowl to break Adrian Peterson’s record for single-season rushing by a true freshman.
Fumagalli also was a big time honoree this offseason. In addition to second team All-American honors by the AP, he was named the Big Ten’s Tight End of the Year and was a finalist for both the Mackey Award (given to the nation’s best TE) and the Burlsworth Trophy (given to the nation’s best player that started his career as a walk-on).
Benzschawel and Edwards formed one heck of a wall on the right side of the Badgers line, one that ranked second in the Big Ten in rushing offense and No. 21 in the country in yards per game on the ground. They also represent a long tradition of quality offensive linemen at UW.
Over the last decade, 13 offensive lineman with the Badgers have been named to the AP All-American teams.
Wisconsin will finish off its season with a trip to the Orange Bowl to take on Miami (FL) for the first time since the two met in the Champs Sports Bowl after the 2009 season. The Badgers won 20-14 in that matchup.