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Carroll Phillips and Dawaune Smoot named to 2016 All-Big Ten Teams

Hardy Nickerson and Tre Watson were also honored.

NCAA Football: Wisconsin at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

A pair of Illinois defensive ends received recognition from the conference as seniors Carroll Phillips and Dawaune Smoot were named All-Big Ten.

Phillips was named first team All-Big Ten as voted by the media and an honorable mention from the coaches, while Smoot was voted third team All-Big Ten by both.

In addition, linebackers Hardy Nickerson and Tre Watson were also honorable mentions.

Phillips is the first Illini player to be named to the first team since Whitney Mercilus in 2011. The senior from Miami recorded 56 tackles on the season and nine sacks. His 20 tackles for loss ranked second in the Big Ten.

Smoot also had 56 tackles on the year, 15 for loss, and he added five sacks and two forced fumbles.

Nickerson led the Illini with 107 tackles in his only season in Champaign, while Watson was second on the squad with 102 stops. Nickerson’s two interceptions also tied for a team lead.