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Illinois safety Patrick Nelson named Big Ten Freshman of the Week

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Nelson led the Fighting Illini with 14 tackles on Saturday.

Illinois v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Patrick Nelson just earned the first weekly award of his career! The Big Ten Conference announced on Monday that the Chicago native has been received Freshman of the Week honors after recording 14 tackles and 1.5 tackles-for-loss in Illinois’ 24-7 victory over Rutgers.

With his latest effort, Nelson also moved into a tie for the Big Ten lead in tackles per game in conference play (12.0 tackles).

The last Illinois freshman to win this honor was Ke’Shawn Vaughn back on November 9, 2015; he recorded 203 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in a victory over Purdue.

Justin Jackson (Northwestern) and J.T. Barrett (Ohio State) were named Co-Offensive Players of the Week, while Jack Cichy (Wisconsin) took home Defensive Player of the Week.

Illinois will travel to Ann Arbor this upcoming Saturday to face the undefeated and No. 3-ranked Michigan Wolverines. The game is scheduled to begin at 2:30pm CT.