Randle El Selected as Big Ten Freshman of the Year
December 1, 1998 Randle El Selected as Big Ten Freshman of the Year
Bloomington, Ind. -- Redshirt freshman quarterback Antwaan Randle El was recognized today as the Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Year by the Conference coaches and by the media. In addition, junior defensive end Adewale Ogunleye was a second-team pick by both groups while junior offensive tackle Pita Elisara (coaches and media), senior fullback Chris Gall (coaches), and senior linebacker Jabar Robinson (coaches and media) earned honorable mention honors.
"I was really pleased to see that our players received this type of recognition for the fine season that each of them put together," said head coach Cam Cameron. "It is extremely rare for a true fullback to receive such recognition so I was really happy for Chris. Jabar and Wally got into a numbers game because this league is full of really good defensive linemen and linebackers right now. Obviously, Pita caught some people's attention in a short period of time, as did Antwaan."
The 5-foot-10, 177-pound, Randle El quickly established himself as one of the most exciting young players in the nation in 1998. He was the co-Big Ten Player of the Week in his first college game and won the award again after a victory over Iowa on October 17. He became IU's single-season record holder for rushing yards by a quarterback (873) and tallied 100-yard rushing games against Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State, and Cincinnati. He also completed 127 of 273 passes for 1,745 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Ogunleye, a preseason All-America selection by several publications, had another solid season as he finished with 56 tackles, including 17 for loss, and 8 sacks. He also recovered a fumble.
Robinson, a product of Ft. Wayne, Ind., was a two-time team captain and started 42 games over the past four years. He tallied 14 double-digit tackle games during his career and finished his senior season with 117 tackles, including 5 for loss, and 5 interceptions.
A native of River Forest, Ill., Gall may may have been the best all-around
fullback in the Big Ten in 1998. He was the only fullback who earned All-Big
Ten honors. Gall finished second on the team in receptions with 30 and rushed
for 329 yards and 7 touchdowns. He also had 1 receiving touchdown. In 74
carries this season, only once was he tackled behind the line of scrimmage.
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