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The Indiana Daily Student

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Indiana football players garner All-Big Ten defensive, special teams recognition

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Three Indiana football defenders and two special teamers were named to the All-Big Ten Defense and Special Teams lists, per a release from IU Athletics on Tuesday afternoon. 

Sixth-year senior linebacker Aaron Casey received First-Team All-Big Ten honors by the conference media. Casey posted a career year with the Hoosiers, tallying a conference-high 20 tackles for loss, which also ranked No. 2 in the nation. 

Casey’s 36 career tackles for loss moved him to No. 8 on the program charts. Additionally, Casey became the 12th linebacker in program history to earn first-team All-Big Ten distinction, with current New York Giants’ starter Micah McFadden being the most recent to do so.  

Sixth-year senior defensive lineman Andre Carter and redshirt junior cornerback Kobee Minor picked up honorable mentions for the All-Big Ten Defensive team. The two each transferred to Indiana this season, with Carter coming from Western Michigan University and Minor arriving from Texas Tech University. 

This season, Carter started every game and recorded 11 tackles for loss and a pair of sacks. Carter’s tackle for loss tally finished fifth in the conference, and according to Pro Football Focus, Carter played the fourth most snaps among Big Ten defensive lineman with 697. 

Minor played in all but one game this season and became the Hoosiers’ most reliable option in the secondary. He was frequently tasked with guarding opposing teams’ top receivers, and out of cornerbacks with 300 coverage snaps, Minor allowed the fewest receptions in the Big Ten with 18. 

On the special teams side, junior punter James Evans and sophomore returner and running back Jaylin Lucas were each named to the third-team All-Big Ten. Evans, who started every game for the third consecutive season since arriving in Bloomington from Auckland, New Zealand, became Indiana’s first punter since 1999 to earn conference distinction. 

In 2023, Evans boasted the No. 3 ranked punting average in the Big Ten — 45.8 yards — and No. 15 in the country. That mark set the program single season record for yards per punt, as well. Evans became the fifth Indiana punter to eclipse 200 punts in a career, and he owns the school’s top punting average at 43.9 yards per attempt. 

After earning first-team All-Big Ten honors as a freshman, Lucas continued to be an electric return man in his sophomore campaign. Lucas paced the Big Ten with 572 kickoff return yards, and he tallied the highest single-season all-purpose yardage mark, 1,108, at Indiana since 2018. 

Against Purdue on Nov. 25, Lucas burst for a 100-yard kickoff return score, tying for the longest play in school history. Lucas now owns a trio of career kickoff return touchdowns which is tied for the most among active FBS returners. 

Follow reporters Matt Press (@MattPress23) and Dalton James (@DaltonMJames) and columnist Daniel Flick (@ByDanielFlick) for updates throughout the Indiana football season.

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