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Illinois LB Tre Watson named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week

This is Watson’s first career weekly honor from the Big Ten.

Michigan State v Illinois Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Fighting Illini football is a few days removed from a relatively surprising 31-27 victory over Michigan State, however their streak of good news continued into Monday morning. Sophomore linebacker Tre Watson was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week after recording a career-high 16 tackles — including four solo stops and 1.5 TFL’s — against the Spartans. The last Illinois player to take home this award was Tavon Wilson back in October of 2011.

Watson currently averages 10.3 tackles per game on the year, which places him at No. 3 in the conference for that category. Patrick Nelson and Hardy Nickerson are also in the top five with an identical 9.5 tackles per game.

Wilton Speight (QB, Michigan) and Curtis Samuel (RB, Ohio State) were named Co-Offensive Players of the Week. Connor McGovern (OG, Penn State) also received Freshman of the Week honors.