Badgers’ Taylor, Deiter collect Big Ten RB, OL awards

Wisconsin’s 2018 season didn’t go as planned. The Badgers went from playoff favorites to a five-loss team, but a few players still cashed in on postseason conference awards.

Unsurprisingly, sophomore Jonathan Taylor was named the Big Ten running back of the year after leading the nation with 1,989 rushing yards and finishing first in the conference with 15 rushing touchdowns. His 280 carries also topped the league, and a 7.1 yards per carry average ranked third in the Big Ten, behind Illinois’ Reggie Corbin and Maryland’s Anthony McFarland.

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Taylor joins Montee Ball (2011, 2012) and Melvin Gordon (2014) as the only three Badgers to win the award.

The sophomore was also named to the All-Big Ten first team offense for the second straight year.

Also taking home an award was senior Michael Deiter, who was named the Big Ten offensive lineman of the year. Deiter started at left guard for the Badgers and was a big part of Wisconsin’s rushing attack that topped the Big Ten with 268.4 yards on the ground per game.

It’s the second straight year Deiter was honored after he was named to the first-team All-Big Ten as a junior.

Two other Badgers joined Deiter and Taylor on the consensus first team: right guard Beau Benzschawel and center Tyler Biadasz. Right tackle David Edwards was named a first-team selection by the media and to the second team by coaches.

Tight end Jake Ferguson was the only Badgers player to earn an All-Big Ten honorable mention, selected by both the coaches and media.