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Fields headlines list of Buckeyes to receive honors

From Mirror, wire reports

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields was honored Wednesday as the Big Ten offensive player of the year.

Fields won in voting of coaches and media.

No Penn State players earned first-team honors on offense from the Big Ten.

Tight end Pat Freiermuth, receiver K.J. Hamler and guard Steven Gonzalez were picked for the league’s second team on Wednesday.

Quarterback Sean Clifford, tailback Journey Brown and offensive linemen Michal Menet and Will Fries all received honorable mention status.

Fields also was voted quarterback of the year after leading the Buckeyes to a perfect regular season. Other offensive honors: Purdue receiver David Bell, freshman of the year; Minnesota’s Rashod Bateman, receiver of the year; Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, running back of the year; Purdue’s Brycen Hopkins, tight end of the year; and Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, offensive lineman of the year.

Ohio State had three players on the media’s all-conference first team on offense.

Joining Fields were running back J.K. Dobbins and offensive lineman Wyatt Davis. The coaches’ first team had Fields, Dobbins and offensive lineman Jonah Jackson from the Buckeyes. Taylor was a unanimous pick on the media’s first team.

The Big Ten announced its defensive honors Tuesday.

Michigan LB leaving

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan linebacker Josh Uche is entering the NFL draft.

The redshirt junior shared his plans Wednesday night on his social media accounts, adding he will play for the 17th-ranked Wolverines in their bowl game.

Uche had a team-high 8 1/2 sacks this season and had three more tackles for losses. He had 34 tackles, forced two fumbles, recovering one, and defended two passes. The Miami native had seven sacks last season. He played in just four games as a freshman in 2016, potentially giving him a fifth season.

Michigan (9-3) will get its bowl bid Sunday night.

USC coach staying

LOS ANGELES — Southern California has decided to retain Clay Helton, extending the head coach’s improbable 4 Ç-year tenure atop the West Coast’s winningest college football program.

New athletic director Mike Bohn announced the decision four days after the No. 24 Trojans (8-4, 7-2 Pac-12) missed out on a trip to the conference title game when they finished one game behind No. 5 Utah in the Pac-12 South.

“His commitment to our student-athletes and to leading with integrity is vital to restoring our championship program, which is the goal for all of our teams,” Bohn wrote on his Twitter account. “Heading into 2020, Coach Helton and I will work together to take a hard look at all aspects of the football enterprise and will make the tough decisions necessary to compete at a championship level.”

Helton’s current Trojans beat the Utes and won five of their final six games, but his 13-11 record over the past two seasons has instilled widespread dissatisfaction in many fans and deep-pocketed alumni around a program with perennial national championship ambitions.

Bohn, who was only hired Nov. 7, waited 11 days after the Trojans’ regular-season finale to officially stick with Helton, who has a lucrative contract through 2023.

The 47-year-old Helton is 40-21 at USC in his first head coaching job, which began with two interim stints before the longtime assistant coach got the permanent job on Nov. 30, 2015. Although his Trojans won the Rose Bowl in his first full season and the Pac-12 title in his second, the last two seasons have been less impressive — and they included the school’s first losing season since 2000 when they went 5-7 last year.

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