Nov. 26, 2012
The Big Ten announced today the 2012 All-Big Ten Teams and four Gophers were honored by the league for their standout play during the season.
Senior defensive end D.L. Wilhite was named second team All-Big Ten by the league’s media, while senior cornerback Michael Carter was named honorable mention by both the coaches and media. In addition, redshirt junior defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman and senior cornerback Troy Stoudermire were named honorable mention by the media.
Senior linebacker Mike Rallis was honored as Minnesota’s Sportsmanship Award honoree. One student-athlete from each school is selected for the award who has distinguished himself through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. The student-athlete must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting.
Wilhite is the first Gopher to be named to one of the conference’s postseason teams since wide receiver Eric Decker was named to the first team in 2009. He is the first Gopher be placed on the second team since Adam Weber, Jack Simmons, Traye Simmons and Willie VanDeSteeg were honored in 2008.
Wilhite paced a resurgent Gopher defensive line with 8.5 sacks, which was tied for second most in the Big Ten (his 11 tackles-for-loss ranked 11th in the league). His 8.5 sacks rank him seventh all-time in a single season for a Gopher, while his 15.5 career sacks place him sixth all-time.
Carter turned his senior season into a breakout year, as he notched 14 pass breakups, two interceptions and 42 tackles (30 solo). Carter’s 14 pass breakups in one season tie him for fourth all-time with Traye Simmons (2008). He recorded six pass breakups against Purdue, which tied Michael Lehan’s (10/19/01 vs. Michigan State) single-game record.
Both of Carter’s interceptions led to touchdowns for Minnesota. His first interception was against Western Michigan. Carter returned it 18 yards and then Minnesota scored its first touchdown of the game three plays later. Carter did all the work himself on his second interception as he raced untouched 43 yards for a touchdown against Purdue. It was the first touchdown of his career.
Hageman notched 29 tackles (17 solo) and forced one fumble on the year. Hageman was constantly in the backfield disrupting opposing quarterbacks, as he finished second on the team with five sacks (tied for seventh in the Big Ten) and 6.5 tackles-for-loss.
Stoudermire led the Gophers in tackles with 78 (56 solo). He had 3.5 tackles-for-loss and had three pass breakups, as Minnesota ranked 11th nationally in pass defense yielding only 178.50 yards-per-game. Stoudermire also led the Gophers with 402 yards on kick returns.
Minnesota finished the regular season 6-6 and qualified for its first bowl game since 2009. The Gophers will find out what bowl they will play in and who their opposition will be in the upcoming days.