The annual College Football Awards were doled out Thursday night. And while Chase Brown missed out on the Doak Walker (best running back) and Devon Witherspoon was absolutely robbed of the Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back), it wasn’t all bad for the Illinois duo.
Brown and Witherspoon were selected as All-Americans by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, as well as defensive tackle Johnny Newton.
“Spoon,” who received the Big Ten’s Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year last month, was voted to the First Team. The junior corner finished the regular season with 17 passes defended and three INTs.
-— Illinois Football (@IlliniFootball) December 9, 2022
Second Team @chasebrown____ @Johnny5Newton #Illini // #HTTO // #famILLy pic.twitter.com/F3lbC2t72l
Brown, the Big Ten’s leader with 1,643 rushing yards and 1,883 all-purpose yards, can now add another accolade to his spectacular season:
Chase Brown is the first Illinois running back to be named a Walter Camp All-American since Jim Grabowski in 1965. Previous Illinois running backs to earn the distinction: Grabowski, J.C. Caroline (1953), John Karras (1951), Red Grange (1923-25), and Bart Macomber (1915).— Illini Stats & Notes (@IlliniStats) December 9, 2022
Newton was a First Team All-Big Ten selection, finishing second in the conference with 14.0 tackles for loss and tied for seventh with 5.5 sacks.
Johnny Newton is the second defensive tackle in Illinois history to be named a Walter Camp All-American, joining recently inducted College Football Hall of Famer Moe Gardner (1989-90).— Illini Stats & Notes (@IlliniStats) December 9, 2022
The Illinois Fighting Illini have been one of the best stories of the college football season, thanks in large part to the efforts of these three. And even though it’s frustrating to see deserving players get snubbed, their achievements on the field aren’t going entirely unnoticed.
Next up for Illinois? The ReliaQuest Bowl on Jan. 2. I-L-L!