Ohio State junior defensive end Chase Young has won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football Award, which goes annually to the Big Ten’s best player.
Young currently leads the nation with 16.5 sacks and is sixth with 19.5 tackles for loss. He was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year earlier in the week by the conference’s coaches and media.
The Silver Football award is voted on by the Big Ten head coaches. Coaches vote for two players, one player receives a first-place vote, the other a second-place vote. Coaches cannot vote for players from their own team.
Young becomes the 19th Buckeye to win the award, though this is the 21st time the award has gone to a Buckeye — both Archie Griffin and Braxton Miller won the award twice. Ohio State has won the award more than any other school. Michigan is second with 17 winners.
This is the sixth time the award has gone to a Buckeye in back-to-back years. Last year, quarterback Dwayne Haskins won the Silver Football.
Young is just the fifth defensive-only player to win the award outright in its 96 years of existence. The first was Illinois linebacker Dick Butkus in 1963. The most recent was Illinois defensive lineman Don Thorp in 1983.
Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson won the award in 1997, but he was also prominently featured on special teams and occasionally saw time on offense. Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham shared the award with Penn State quarterback Darryl Clark in 2009.
The first winner of the award was Illinois halfback Red Grange in 1924.
Here is the full list of Ohio State winners.
1930 – Wes Fesler, E
1941 – Jack Graf, QB/FB
1944 – Les Horvath, HB/QB
1945 – Ollie Cline, FB
1950 – Vic Janowicz, HB
1955 – Howard Cassady, HB
1973 – Archie Griffin, RB
1974 – Archie Griffin, RB
1975 – Cornelius Greene, QB
1981 – Art Schlichter, QB
1984 – Keith Byars, RB
1995 – Eddie George, RB
1996 – Orlando Pace, OT
1998 – Joe Germaine, QB
2006 – Troy Smith, QB
2012 – Braxton Miller, QB
2013 – Braxton Miller, QB
2015 – Ezekiel Elliott, RB
2016 – JT Barrett, QB (with PSU RB Saquon Barkley)
2018 – Dwayne Haskins, QB