Martinez, Martin, Maher among Nebraska's All-Big Ten honorees

2012-11-26T23:35:00Z 2012-12-11T21:14:09Z Martinez, Martin, Maher among Nebraska's All-Big Ten honoreesBy BRIAN CHRISTOPHERSON / Lincoln Journal Star

When it comes to all-conference teams, Husker coach Bo Pelini will tell you he "doesn't get into all that."

That's exactly what he said Monday, several hours before this year's All-Big Ten teams were announced.

"Whether they're picked or not won't take away from the type of year a lot of those guys have had," Pelini said.

When the lists came out, there was perhaps one Husker surprise -- Taylor Martinez beating out Ohio State's Braxton Miller as the coaches' first-team quarterback -- and also perhaps a couple of snubs.

But let's start with Martinez, who became the first Husker quarterback to be named first-team all-conference since Zac Taylor in 2006.

The junior threw for 2,483 yards and 21 touchdowns and rushed for 833 more yards in leading the Huskers to the Legends Division title this season.

Martinez will have to wait to find out if he's been named the league offensive player of the year. That award, along with four other honors, including coach and defensive player of the year, will be announced Tuesday.

Many figure the offensive player of the year honor will go to Miller, who was named the media's first-team quarterback and won the Griese-Brees quarterback of the year award.

Husker junior offensive lineman Spencer Long was named to the first team by both the media and coaches, while Jeremiah Sirles was second-team.

Nebraska senior kicker/punter Brett Maher repeated as Bakken-Andersen kicker of the year. This season, however, he shared the honor with Northwestern's Jeff Budzien. Maher was the media's first-team kicker and the coaches' and media's second-team punter.

NU senior defensive end Eric Martin earned first-team honors from the media. Martin was one of the league leaders in sacks. Senior Baker Steinkuhler, who suffered a knee injury last week against Iowa, was a coaches' second-team pick.

Senior linebacker Will Compton and sophomore running back Ameer Abdullah were on the coaches' second team.

The Husker secondary, which leads the country in pass defense, received some recognition, with Daimion Stafford earning media first-team and coaches' second-team honors.

The Big Ten also recognized 12 Sportsmanship Award honorees. The student-athletes honored distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. Senior running back Rex Burkhead was NU's winner.  

The three big peeves Husker fans might have:

1) Sophomore wide receiver Kenny Bell was second-team, according to both the media and coaches. Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis and Penn State's Allen Robinson were on the first team.

2) Defensive back Ciante Evans did not make first- or second-team. He received honorable mention.

Pelini would no doubt take strong issue with that.

"Whether he gets picked to be All-Big Ten? Maybe not," Pelini said before the teams were announced. "(But) if you watch the film, there's probably not a better defensive back in the league, I promise you."

Secondary coach Terry Joseph said Monday that Evans is playing as well as any defensive back he's coached. But when it comes to votes like this, the junior's numbers might not stick out as much because he has been so good in coverage.

Joseph also agreed with the idea that Evans could be hampered because he primarily plays nickel back, a position ultra-important to Nebraska's scheme but perhaps overlooked by those who only look at the traditional positions.

"But when it's all said and done, when you look back on this season, I know personally, one guy we can't miss is Ciante," Joseph said.

3) Also of note, Wisconsin had four offensive players on the media's first team. The Huskers had two.

That might cause some shaking of heads in these parts, since Nebraska's offense ranks first in the conference in total offense while Wisconsin's is eighth.

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