Badgers linebackers Baun, Orr named consensus All-Big Ten defenders

Wisconsin placed two players on the All-Big Ten defensive team for 2019 – both linebackers.

Seniors Zack Baun and Chris Orr, both of whom have previously missed seasons due to injury, were consensus picks by the media and coaches. Baun, an outside linebacker, made the first team and Orr, an inside linebacker, the second.

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In addition, Aron Cruickshank was tabbed a consensus second-team return specialist.

Baun is tied for eighth in the nation with 18.5 tackles for loss and tied for ninth in sacks with 11.5. The senior from Brown Deer, Wis., has 62 tackles, a team-high 10 quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, two passes broken up and an interception.

He missed the 2017 season after suffering an injury before the season but returned in 2018 to start all 13 games. Baun was the only returning starter among Wisconsin’s linebackers in 2019. He had sacks in three straight games to open the year, posted three in a game against Ken State and had a pair in each of the Badgers’ wins at Nebraska and Minnesota. He recorded at least a half-tackle for loss in every game but one.

Orr also has 11.5 sacks, the most for a Wisconsin inside linebacker, to go with his team-high 71 tackles. The DeSoto, Texas native has 13.5 tackles for loss, eight QB hurries, five passes broken up, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

Unlike Baun, Orr didn’t have a sack in any of the Badgers’ first three games but has had at least one-half sack in every game but one since. Similar to Baun, he also posted a three-sack game, at Illinois.

Cruickshank is averaging 26.6 yards in 17 kick returns, which includes an 89-yard score against Nebraska, the first Badgers kick return for a touchdown in four years.

In addition, safety Eric Burrell, defensive end Matt Hennigsen, cornerback Faion Hicks and defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk were named honorable mention by the coaches while Burrell, Hicks, Loudermilk and cornerback Rachad Wildgoose were labeled such by the media.