The recognition has finally come for Isaiah Williams.
On Wednesday, the Illini’s top offensive weapon was named to the All-Big Ten First Team, the first Illinois offensive player to receive that honor since Kendrick Green in 2020 and the first wide receiver to do so since A.J. Jenkins in 2011.
Williams had a standout 2023 season, leading the Big Ten in receptions with 82 and finishing second in receiving yards with 1,055 to go along with six touchdowns — five receiving and one passing.
He became just the seventh Illinois wide receiver to surpass 1,000 yards in a single season — the first since Mike Dudek in 2014.
His two most memorable performances of the season came in back-to-back thrilling Illinois victories over Minnesota and Indiana. Williams went for 131 yards and two touchdowns in Minneapolis before following it up with a career-high 200 yards and two touchdowns against the Hoosiers in Champaign, catching the game-winning score off the arm of John Paddock in both games.
Williams has one more year of college eligibility remaining and will have a decision to make regarding making the leap to the NFL or returning to Illinois for one more season.
No other Illini offensive players were named to All-Big Ten teams, but several were included as honorable mentions:
- OT Julian Pearl (All-Big Ten Honorable Mention)
- OT Isaiah Adams (All-Big Ten Honorable Mention)
- OG Zy Crisler (All-Big Ten Honorable Mention)
- OG Josh Gesky (All-Big Ten Honorable Mention)
- C Josh Kruetz (All-Big Ten Honorable Mention)
- RB Kaden Feagin (All-Big Ten Honorable Mention)
- QB John Paddock (All-Big Ten Honorable Mention)