Dec. 1, 2015
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State Buckeyes claimed three additional Big Ten Conference individual awards this evening with junior running back Ezekiel Elliott being named the Graham-George offensive player of the year and the Ameche-Dayne running back of the year and senior offensive tackle Taylor Decker earning the Rimington-Pace offensive lineman of the year award. Joey Bosa was named the league’s Smith-Brown defensive lineman of the year on Monday.
Elliott and Decker convincingly led an assemblage of nine Buckeyes on offense honored by the Big Ten. Elliott was the only unanimous first-team all-conference pick by both the coaches and the media, and Decker was a unanimous pick along the offensive line by the Big Ten coaches.
Elliott, Ohio State’s Heisman Trophy candidate with 1,672 rush yards, 19 rushing TDs, 26 receptions and violent, aggressive blocking skills, is No. 1 in the Big Ten in rushing, scoring and all-purpose yards. He is No. 4 nationally in rushing yards, tied for second in rushing TDs and sixth in rushing yards per game.
Elliott’s 214-yard effort against Michigan this past Saturday moved him into second-place on Ohio State’s all-time rushing charts – between Heisman Trophy winners Archie Griffin and Eddie George – and tied him with George for the most 200-yard games in school history: five.
Decker, the mammoth animal sciences major (6-8, 315) who befriended a tiger named “Chewie” and a penguin named “Anchovy” while interning at the Columbus Zoo this summer, is a team co-captain and a force along an Ohio State offensive line that has powered the team to 241.9 rushing yards per game to rank 12th nationally and first in the Big Ten.
Decker has started 41 consecutive games for Ohio State and in that time – since the start of the 2013 season – the Buckeyes are first nationally among Power 5 schools in rushing yards per carry (6.1) and second nationally with 273.0 rushing yards per game.
The team is coming off a 369-yard, five-rushing touchdown game against the nation’s No. 2 total defense and No. 4 rush defense on Saturday.
Elflein repeats on all-Big Ten team
Junior guard Pat Elflein repeated this season as a first-team all-Big Ten performer, being named such on both the coaches’ and media ballots. He was the only other Buckeye outside of Elliott and Decker to earn first-team all-Big Ten honors.
Three Buckeyes earned third-team accolades: senior center Jacoby Boren and junior wide receiver Michael Thomas were each chosen third-team by both the coaches and the media, and sophomore guard Billy Price was named by the coaches.
Three Buckeyes were also named honorable mention all Big Ten: first-year hybrid-back Braxton Miller and senior tight end Nick Vannett were recognized by both the coaches and the media. Sophomore hybrid-back Jalin Marshall was honored by the meda.