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Griffin Oakes and Tegray Scales named first team All-Big Ten Conference



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Senior kicker Griffin Oakes kicks an extra point during the first half against Wisconsin on Nov. 4 at Memorial Stadium. Oakes was named the 2017 Big Ten Conference Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year on Thursday. Bobby Goddin Buy Photos

The 2017 All-Big Ten defense and special teams units were announced Tuesday morning by the Big Ten Conference.

The teams were divided into two groups based on selections from Big Ten coaches and selections from media members.

IU senior linebacker Tegray Scales was named a first team All-Big Ten defense selection by the media and a second team All-Big Ten defense selection by the coaches. 

Scales is the first IU linebacker to receive first-team accolades since Willie Bates and Joe Huff in 1988. Scales led the Hoosiers with 12.5 tackles for loss this past season. He also registered six sacks, 89 tackles and 56 solo tackles.

IU senior kicker Griffin Oakes was the other Hoosier named an All-Big Ten first-teamer by making the first team special teams unit in both the coaches and media selections.

It's the second time in Oakes' career that he's earned first team honors, as he also did so in 2015. Oakes is the second IU kicker to twice be named first team All-Big Ten, the first being Scott Bonnell in 1991 and 1992.

Oakes went 16 for 17 on field goals and 38 for 39 on extra points in 2017, with both of his misses coming on blocks. He finished the season with the second-best field goal percentage in the country, 94.1 percent, and made all 15 of his kicks from inside the 50-yard line. 

Oakes is IU's all-time leader in field goals made with 69.

Senior cornerback Rashard Fant was named second team All-Big Ten defense by the media and third team All-Big Ten defense by the coaches. 

Fant is still both the NCAA's active leader and IU's all-time leader in passes defended with 58. He led IU this past season with nine pass breakups and also posted 24 tackles, one interception and one fumble recovery.

A slew of IU players also earned honorable mention recognition from the conference.

On defense, junior safety Jonathan Crawford, senior linebacker Chris Covington, senior safety Chase Dutra and senior defensive end Robert McCray III were all honorable mention selections by the media.

Covington and Crawford earned the same accolade from the coaches as well.

On special teams, sophomore punter Haydon Whitehead and junior wide receiver and return specialist J-Shun Harris II were both honorable mention selections from both the coaches and media.

The total of six defensive players honored by the Big Ten matches the school record for IU, which was set last season.

Lastly, senior offensive lineman Danny Friend was IU's Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner.

Cameron Drummond

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