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12 Maryland football players receive Big Ten honors

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The Terps finished the regular season 6-6 and qualified for a bowl game for the first time since 2016.

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics
UMTerps

12 Maryland football players were honored with season awards by the Big Ten Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon.

The group is highlighted by senior defensive lineman Sam Okuayinonu who made the Third team All-Big Ten as selected by conference coaches. Okuayinonu was a media honorable mention.

Sticking with the defense, senior defensive lineman Ami Finau and senior defensive back Jakorian Bennett earned honorable mention from both the coaches and media while defensive backs Jordan Mosely and Nick Cross earned honorable mentions as selected by the media.

On the offense, six players earned All-Big Ten honorable mentions. Sophomore wide receiver Rakim Jarrett, senior tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo and junior quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa earned the honor from both the coaches and media. Junior offensive lineman Spencer Anderson earned an honorable mention from the media and senior wide receiver Dontay Demus Jr. along with junior offensive lineman Jaelyn Duncan were earned the honor from coaches.

Six is the highest number of Terps on offense to earn all-conference honors since 2008, per release.

Punter Anthony Pecorella is Maryland football’s Big Ten sportsmanship honoree.

Okuayinonu ranked third on the team in tackles tied with defensive back Tarheeb Still tallying 52 on the season. His eight and half tackles for loss yards totaling 59 yards rank first on the team. The senior defensive lineman also had the most sacks on the team with six, averaging half a sack per game ranking 10th in the conference.

Finau had 38 tackles, five tackles for loss and one sack. The senior also had one forced fumble against Michigan State.

Bennett leads the conference and ranks third in the nation in passes defended this season averaging 1.36 per game. He’s broken up 12 passes which ranks second in the conference and his three interceptions rank in the top five.

Cross also pulled in three interceptions for the Terps this season and added 63 tackles as well while Mosely broke up seven passes, forced one fumble against Illinois and recorded a team-high 77 tackles.

On the offense, Jarrett earned an honorable mention for the second consecutive season. Demus, who saw the field the first five games of the season and tallied 507 and three touchdowns, injured his lower body against Iowa. Since then, Jarrett took on a larger role recording a team-high 769 yards on 56 catches and adding five touchdowns.

Okonkwo also stepped up after Demus was ruled out for the season recording 433 yards on 49 catches and also adding five touchdowns.

Tagovailoa had a record-breaking season for the Terps. He set the program’s single-season record for passing yards with 3,595 and completions with 308. He closed out the regular season with a 68.44% completion rate and threw for 24 touchdowns. His passing yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage, completions as well as his seven 300-yard passing games rank in the top three of the Big Ten, per a release from Maryland Athletics.

Offensive linemen Anderson and Duncan round out the conference awards for the Terps as this is the second consecutive season Duncan earned the honorable mention.

Maryland is getting set for its first bowl game since 2016 after it clinched its bowl-qualifying sixth win against Rutgers. The Terps will find out where they are playing and who their opponent will be on Dec. 5.