Edwardsburg’s Priebe consensus Third Team All-Big Ten
Published 7:05 pm Wednesday, November 29, 2023
EVANSTON, Ill. — Three Northwestern offensive players received All-Big Ten recognition, the Big Ten Conference announced on Wednesday.
Offensive lineman Josh Priebe (Edwardsburg) was named a consensus Third Team selection, as voted on by the conference’s coaches and media, while wide receivers Bryce Kirtz and AJ Henning each earned honorable mention accolades.
Priebe takes home All-Big Ten honors for the first time in his career. The senior captain from Niles, had an outstanding season leading the Northwestern offensive line, starting all 12 games at left guard. Behind Priebe, Northwestern rushed for 90-plus yards eight different times and scored 14 touchdowns on the ground. Additionally, Northwestern’s line allowed two or fewer sacks on five separate occasions. Priebe’s outstanding protection was highlighted by his allowance of zero pressures against Rutgers, Minnesota, Iowa and Purdue, per Pro Football Focus. According to PFF, Priebe posted a pass blocking grade of 80.0+ in four different games this season.
Wide Receiver Bryce Kirtz led the ‘Cats with 57.6 receiving yards per game (seventh in the Big Ten) en route to earning All-Big Ten Honorable Mention honors for the first time in his career. The Brownsburg, Indiana native totaled three or more receptions in all 11 games he played this season. Kirtz’s 14.39 yards per reception mark ranked 11th in the conference, while his 188 yards after catch ranked 14th among all Big Ten wide receivers. Kirtz posted the second-highest single game performance in yards in the Big Ten (Casey Washington) with 215 yards on 10 catches against Minnesota, adding two touchdowns. The 215-yard showing ranked as the 13th most receiving yards in a single game in FBS this year and fourth best total in Northwestern history. Following his performance in the overtime victory, Kirtz was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week.
Rounding out the offensive recognitions for the Wildcats is wide receiver AJ Henning. In his first season with Northwestern after transferring from Michigan was a true Swiss army knife for the Wildcats, recording five different games with double-digit rushing and receiving yards while being used in a variety of ways lined up outside, in the slot, and in the backfield. Henning proved himself as a deep threat, catching four passes of more than 30 yards. He also regularly contributed as kick returner for the ‘Cats, finishing fourth in the Big Ten in kick return yards with 330. Henning’s 76.82 all-purpose yards per game rank 13th among all Big Ten players this season.
On Tuesday, five Northwestern defensive players earned All-Big Ten recognition along with kicker Jack Olsen. Dan & Susan Jones Family Head Football Coach David Braun was also named the consensus Big Ten Coach of the Year, becoming the fifth different Northwestern head coach to take home the honor.
Northwestern finished the regular season on a three-game winning streak en route to a 7-5 record and a 5-4 mark in Big Ten play. The Wildcats’ six-win improvement from 2022 to 2023 is the largest win improvement by any FBS team this season. The Wildcats will now await its bowl game destination. A formal announcement of matchup and location will come this upcoming weekend.