The regular season in the Big Ten ended on Saturday. For Rutgers, it was a disappointing finish with a loss to Maryland that landed them at 5-7 for the season. On Tuesday, the Scarlet Knights saw four players honored by the conference when the defensive and special team awards were announced by the conference.
It is no surprise that Adam Korsak highlighted selections for Rutgers but it was a bit shocking to see where he landed. Korsak was named to the first team by coaches. He finished tied in this spot with Penn State’s Jordan Stout, who was named the Eddleman-Fields Punter of the Year. Korsak was also named third team by the media, which seems a bit off.
Korsak was recently named a finalist for the Ray Guy Award, along with Stout. It will be interesting to see how this plays out after Stout was given the award in the Big Ten. With that being said, it is hard to justify a third-team selection from the media.
The Australian punter led Rutgers to a new NCAA record with a net punt average of 45.34 yards. Korsak finished the season with 37 punts inside the 20-yard line, 15 inside the 10, and four setting at the one-yard line. In 70 total punts this season, Korsak did not register a touchback bringing his overall number to 122 consecutive attempts without one going into the end zone.
Olakunle Fatukasi earned a third-team selection from the media and was an honorable mention from coaches. Fatukasi has been a tackling machine for the Scarlet Knights and that continued this season. He ranks fourth in the conference with 9.9 tackles per game. This is also good for 13th in the nation. Fatukasi currently has 302 tackles in his career, which is 12th in Rutgers’ history. Fatukasi is a semifinalist for the Butkus Award and was named the Bednarik Award Player of the Week following the season-opener. This is when Fatukasi recorded four tackles-for-loss, three sacks, forced fumble, and a safety against Temple. He missed the last three games of the season due to injury.
Julius Turner was an honorable mention by both the coaches and media while Christian Izien earned the same honor by the media. The safety started all 12 games for Rutgers this season. He totaled 71 tackles and four pass breakups. Turner also started all 12 games, which makes it 57 game played for his career. He holds the program record for most games played along with long snapper Billy Taylor. Turner finished the season with 38 tackles, with five for loss, and 2.5 sacks.
The Big Ten will announce the offensive selections on Wednesday afternoon.