Hawk Named Preseason Defensive POY
Ohio State junior linebacker A.J. Hawk was named preseason defensive player of the year by media members attending the 33rd annual Big Ten Kickoff Conference in Chicago.
Hawk earned first-team All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore last season after ranking among the league's top 10 in tackles with 106. He also had 13 tackles for loss, second on the Buckeyes behind Will Smith, last year's conference defensive player of the year.
Purdue senior quarterback Kyle Orton was chosen the preseason offensive player of the year. He is the Big Ten's returning statistical leader in passing yards, passing efficiency and total offense and heads into his senior season ranked among the Boilermakers' career top five in passing attempts, completions, yards, total offense and completion percentage.
Michigan was the media's preseason choice to win the Big Ten championship this season. Ohio State was second and Iowa was third.
The Wolverines are the defending conference champion and returns 17 starters this season -- seven on offense and six on defense. Head coach Lloyd Carr has four Big Ten titles under his belt, more than any other active league coach.
OSU tied for second in the conference last season and returns only 11 starters this season. The Buckeyes are now two years removed from their national championship and are working on a streak of 25 victories in their last 27 games.
Like Ohio State, Iowa has only 11 starters back this season, but the Hawkeyes are coming off back-to-back seasons of 10 wins or more for the first time in school history.
Stay tuned for more updates from Chicago and the Big Ten Kickoff Conference.