Senior linebacker Jonathan Brown and sophomore kick returner V’Angelo Bentley were named to Phil Steele’s midseason All-America team this week. Brown and Bentley were named third-team All-Americans and five Illini were named to Steele’s midseason All-Big Ten teams.
After being named a preseason Butkus Award candidate, Brown leads the Big Ten and ranks fourth in the nation in tackles with 12 tackles per contest. On top of leading his team in tackles every game this season, he’s also racked up 60 total tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks in Illinois’ first five games.
V’Angelo Bentley has been a complete force for the Fighting Illini return game in 2013. Through five games, Bentley ranks fifth in the nation and leads the Big Ten in average kick return yardage with 32.1 yards per return. He also ranks third in the Big Ten and 14th nationally in punt return average (15.8 yards per return).
Bentley has two team best for kick returns and punts this season. According to fightingillini.com, “his 100-yard kickoff return for touchdown against SIU was the longest by a single player in school history and equaled the longest touchdown in Illinois history.”
In addition to Brown and Bentley making Steele’s All-American teams, three other Illini made his All-Big Ten team at the midway point of 2013. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase (2nd team), running back Josh Ferguson (3rd team), and linebacker Mason Monheim (3rd team) all made Steele’s midseason All-Big Ten team along with Brown and Bentley.
Click here for Steele’s Midseason All-Americans.
Click here for Steele’s Midseason All-Big Ten teams.
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