Michigan football junior co-captain linebacker Devin Bush Jr. has been named the most outstanding defensive player in the Big Ten.
Bush, who was also a unanimous All-Big Ten first-team pick, was named the Nagurski-Woodson defensive player of the year by the league on Tuesday. He also won the league’s Butkus-Fitzgerald linebacker of the year honor.
U-M has had two defensive player of the year awards in the last three years, as former Michigan linebacker/safety Jabrill Peppers won the honor in 2016.
Bush, rated by ESPN as the No. 6 player available in next spring’s NFL draft, still hasn’t made an announcement on his future for next year. But asked Tuesday on the Big Ten Network if he planned to play in the team’s upcoming bowl game, he said he did.
“I definitely do want to play in that bowl game,” said Bush, who also said he’ll be fine after suffering a minor hip injury in Saturday’s loss to Ohio State. “I have some things I have to talk to my coaches about and my family. But I’m definitely going to play in the bowl game.”
A second-team All-American as a sophomore last season, Bush entered 2018 as the centerpiece — once again — of Don Brown’s defense, a unit that led the Big Ten in total defense this season and still ranks No. 1 nationally in that category after 12 games.
Bush made 80 tackles (9.5 for a loss) and five sacks during the regular season for the Wolverines. The 5-foot-11, 233-pounder also had six pass breakups this season.
He’s the fifth Michigan player to win the league’s defensive player of the year award, which started in 1990. Bush joins Charles Woodson (1997), Larry Foote (2001), LaMarr Woodley (2006) and Peppers (2016). Bush and Peppers are the lone Michigan recipients of the linebacker of the year honor, which was created in 2011.
Bush was one of five Wolverines to earn first-team All-Big Ten defense honors this season.
Senior defensive end Chase Winovich and junior corners David Long (coaches) and Lavert Hill also earned first-team nods. Junior defensive end Rashan Gary was also a first-team pick by the league’s coaches. Bush, Winovich and Hill were all unanimous picks.
Junior Will Hurt was named Big Ten punter of the year.
U-M had 12 defensive players earn All-Big Ten honors this season.
Junior safety Josh Metellus was a unanimous second-team selection, Gary was on the second-team via the media vote. Long was a third-team media selection.
Junior linebacker/defensive end Josh Uche, junior linebacker Khaleke Hudson and senior safety Tyree Kinnel were all unanimous honorable mention pick. Sophomore Josh Ross and senior defensive tackle Bryan Mone were honorable mention picks by the coaches, while sophomore defensive end Kwity Paye was an honorable mention media selection.
Sophomore Donovan Peoples-Jones was named as a third-team All-Big Ten return specialist.
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