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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 9/25/2023, Last updated: 9/27/2023
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Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State and Wisconsin Earn Weekly Football Honors

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Following Week 4 contests, the Big Ten Conference Offensive, Defensive, and Special Teams Players of the Week, and the Freshman of the Week were announced this morning. Below are this week's honorees:


Offensive Player of the Week

Bryce Kirtz, Northwestern

WR – Sr. – Brownsburg, Ind. – Brownsburg

  • Picked up 10 receptions for 215 yards, the fourth highest single-game receiving yard total in school history, and two touchdowns, as Northwestern overcame a 21-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat Minnesota 37-34 in overtime

  • Registered his touchdown grabs on receptions of 80 and 17 yards, with his 80-yard reception ranking tied for sixth for the longest pass play in school history

  • On his second touchdown catch, Kirtz recorded a catch on all three plays of a drive that went three plays for 69 yards

  • The three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree earns his first career Offensive Player of the Week award

  • Last Northwestern Offensive Player of the Week: Ryan Hilinski (Aug. 28, 2022)

Defensive Player of the Week

Lathan Ransom, Ohio State

S – Sr. – Tuscon, Ariz. – Salpointe Catholic

  • Recorded career highs in total tackles (13) and solo tackles (7) to lead the Ohio State defense in its 17-14 victory on the road over No. 9 Notre Dame Saturday

  • Included in his total was combining on a fourth-and-one stop early in the third quarter with Ohio State leading 10-0

  • Also recorded a quarterback hurry

  • Earns the first Defensive Player of the Week accolade of his career

  • Last Ohio State Defensive Player of the Week: J.T.  Tuimoloau (Oct. 31, 2022)

Special Teams Player of the Week

Nathanial Vakos, Wisconsin

K – So. – Avon, Ohio – Avon

  • Was perfect in Wisconsin's win over Purdue, converting 3-of-3 extra points and 3-of-3 field goals

  • Hit from 38, 22 and 48 to help the Badgers pull away from the Boilermakers

  • Becomes the only Big Ten kicker to have a perfect clip while attempting 5+ field goals this season and has made five field goals of 30+ yards on the season

  • Garners the first Special Teams Player of the Week honor of his career

  • Last Wisconsin Special Teams Player of the Week: Collin Larsh (Oct. 25, 2021)

Freshman of the Week

Darius Taylor, Minnesota

RB – Detroit, Mich. – Walled Lake Western

  • Had 216 all-purpose yards at Northwestern as he rushed for 198 yards and had 18 receiving yards

  • Carried the ball 31 times for 198 yards and two touchdowns at Northwestern for his third straight game with more than 135 rushing yards

  • Leads the Big Ten is rushing yards (532) and attempts (87), while tying for sixth in rushing yards per carry (6.1 yards per carry) and touchdowns (4)

  • Earns the third Freshman of the Week honor of his career and his third in as many weeks

  • Last Minnesota Freshman of the Week: Darius Taylor (Sept. 18, 2023)


2023 Big Ten Football Players of the Week

Sept. 5

O: Drew Allar, So., QG, PSU

D: Miles Scott, So., DB, ILL

D: Tyler Nubin, Sr., S, MINN

S: Dragan Kesich, Sr., K, MINN

F: Dillon Thieneman, DB, PUR

Sept. 11

O: Noah Kim, Jr., QB, MSU

D: Sebastian Castro, Sr., DB, IOWA

S: Jai Patel, So., K, RU

F: Darius Taylor, RB, MINN

Sept. 18

O: Kyle Monangai, Jr., RB, RU

D: Hunter Wohler, Jr., S, WIS

S: Braedan Wisloski, Fr., WR, MD

F: Darius Taylor, RB, MINN

Sept. 25

O: Bryce Kirtz, Sr., WR, NU

D: Lathan Ransom, Sr., S, OSU

S: Nathanial Vakos, So., K, WIS

F: Darius Taylor, RB, MINN