Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers Earn Weekly Big Ten Football Honors


­­Following Week 3, the Co-Offensive, Defensive, and Co-Special Teams Players of the Week, and the Freshman of the Week in the Big Ten were announced this morning. Below are this week’s honorees:

Co-Offensive Player of the Week

Payton Thorne, Michigan State

QB – So. – Naperville, Ill. – Naperville Central (Ill.)

  • Completed 18 of 31 attempts (.581 pct.) for 261 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Spartans to a 38-17 win over No. 24 Miami (Fla.)
  • With Michigan State holding a 10-7 lead at halftime, helped the Spartans pull away with three touchdown passes in the second half, including two in the fourth quarter
  • Joined Connor Cook (2015 vs. Indiana and Nebraska) as the only quarterbacks in Michigan State history to throw four touchdowns in back-to-back games
  • Earns the first Offensive Player of the Week accolade of his career
  • Last Michigan State Offensive Player of the Week: Kenneth Walker III (Sept. 6, 2021)


Co-Offensive Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week

TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State

RB – Fr. – Hopewell, Va. – Hopewell (Va.)

  • Rushed for 277 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries (11.54 avg.) in Ohio State’s 41-20 win over Tulsa. Compiled 207 rushing yards in the second half and registered touchdown runs of 52 and 48 yards in the third quarter
  • Set a new Ohio State single-game freshman record for rushing yards, breaking the previous record (239 yards) set by Archie Griffin in 1972
  • His 277 rushing yards are the most by any FBS player in a single game this season and the third-most in a single game in Ohio State history behind Trey Sermon’s 331 vs. Northwestern in the 2020 Big Ten Football Championship Game and Eddie George’s 314 vs. Illinois in 1995
  • Earns his first career Offensive Player of the Week and Freshman of the Week honors
  • Last Ohio State Offensive Player of the Week: Justin Fields (Dec. 7, 2020)
  • Last Ohio State Freshman of the Week: C.J. Stroud (Sept. 13, 2021)

Defensive Player of the Week

Brandon Smith, Penn State

LB – Jr. – Louisa, Va. – Louisa County (Fla.)

  • Led the Nittany Lions defense with a career-high 10 tackles (six solo) in Penn State’s 28-20 win over No. 22 Auburn. Bested his previous career high of eight tackles. Helped limit Auburn’s offense to just 185 passing yards on 21 of 39 attempts (.538 pct.) and its lowest total offensive output of the season (369 yards)
  • Added one tackle for loss, one pass breakup and a quarterback hurry
  • Helped Penn State record its first regular season win over a Southeastern Conference opponent since 1990. The Nittany Lions have now defeated two ranked opponents in 2021, marking the first time that Penn State has recorded two such wins in its first three games of a season
  • Earns the first Defensive Player of the Week accolade of his career
  • Last Penn State Defensive Player of the Week: Robert Windsor (Nov. 12, 2018)

Co-Special Teams Player of the Week

Aron Cruickshank, Rutgers

WR – Jr. – Brooklyn, N.Y. – Erasmus Hall (N.Y.)

  • Recorded a career-long 62-yard punt return for a touchdown in Rutgers’ 45-13 win over Delaware. Marked his first collegiate punt return for a touchdown and his fifth career kick return touchdown (four kickoff return touchdowns)
  • Finished the game with 151 all-purpose yards, including 77 punt return yards and 38 kickoff return yards. Added 26 receiving yards and 10 rushing yards on offense
  • Is tied for second among all active FBS players with five career kick return touchdowns (four kickoff return and one punt return)
  • Garners the second Special Teams Player of the Week honor of his career and his first since Nov. 18, 2019 while playing for Wisconsin
  • Last Rutgers Special Teams Player of the Week: Adam Korsak (Sept. 13, 2021)


Co-Special Teams Player of the Week

Joseph Petrino, Maryland

K – Richmond Hill, Ga. – Richmond Hill (Ga.)

  • Kicked the first game-winning field goal of his career when he connected on a 32-yard attempt as time expired to give Maryland a 20-17 road win at Illinois. The win helped Maryland improve to 3-0 on the season
  • The kick marked Maryland’s first walk-off win since Dan Ennis hit a game-winner against Clemson in 2006
  • Also connected on a 32-yard field goal in the second quarter to give Maryland an early 3-0 lead and went 2-for-2 on extra points
  • Earns the first Special Teams Player of the Week honor of his career
  • Last Maryland Special Teams Player of the Week: Javon Leake (Nov. 4, 2019)


2021 Big Ten Football Players of the Week


Aug. 30

O: Artur Sitkowski, So., QB, ILL

D: Calvin Hart Jr., So., LB, ILL

S: Blake Hayes, Sr., P, ILL

F: Deuce Spann, WR, ILL


Sept. 6

O: Kenneth Walker III, Jr., RB, MSU

D: Riley Moss, Sr., DB, IOWA

S: Jordan Stout, Sr., K/P, PSU

F: C.J. Stroud, QB, OSU


Sept. 13

O: Blake Corum, So., RB, MICH

D: Luke Reimer, So., LB, NEB

S: Adam Korsak, Sr., P, RU

S: Tory Taylor, So., P, IOWA

F: C.J. Stroud, QB, OSU


Sept. 20

O: Payton Thorne, So., QB, MSU

O: TreVeyon Henderson, Fr., RB, OSU

D: Brandon Smith, Jr., LB, PSU

S: Aron Cruickshank, Jr., WR, RU

S: Joseph Petrino, Sr., K, MD

F: TreVeyon Henderson, RB, OSU