Five players on the Minnesota Gophers defense were honored by the Big Ten conference Tuesday as it named its all-conference performers.
Redshirt defensive lineman Boye Mafe was named to the All-Big Ten second team by the media and third team by coaches. Mafe was the Gophers’ leader in sacks (6) and tackles for loss (9). He also added 30 tackles.
The other four players – linebacker Jack Gibbens, defensive back Tyler Nubin, linebacker Mariano Sori-Marin and defensive lineman Esezi Otomewo -- were named to the All-Big Ten honorable mention.
Otomewo and Sori-Marin were consensus honorable mention picks by both the coaches and media. Gibbens and Nubin received recognition from the coaches.
Otomewo logged 27 tackles, 2.5 TFL and one sack in his fourth season with Minnesota.
Sori-Marin registered 82 tackles, five TFL, three pass defensed, two forced fumbles and one interception in 11 games.
Gibbens was the team’s leading tackler with 86 and added 4.5 tackles for loss.
Nubin led the Gophers with three interceptions and finished third on the team with 44 tackles.
Minnesota, which wrapped up the regular season with a 23-13 win over rival Wisconsin on Saturday, finished as the nation’s fourth-best defense in total yards allowed, yielding only 284.8 yards per game. It's the lowest mark in school history since Minnesota allowed only 225.1 yards per game in 1966.
The Gophers limited opponents to 18.3 points per game, which was the program's lowest since 1999 (16.3).