Ra'Shede Hageman, Brock Vereen nab All-Big Ten first team honors
Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports
Minnesota Gophers senior defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman entered the season to a heavy dose of hype.
Now he has the postseason accolades to back it up.
Unveiled Monday, Hageman was named to the All-Big Ten first team by both the media and coaches.
The 6-foot-6, 311-pound lineman, who has been projected as a possible first or second round NFL draft pick, became the Gophers' first player since Eric Decker in 2008 to earn both media and coaches first-team honors. Hageman led the Gophers in tackles for a loss (11) and notched nine deflected passes.
But Hageman wasn't the only one out of Minnesota to gain top conference recognition.
In a season in which he served as a versatile anchor in the "U" secondary, senior defensive back Brock Vereen was selected to the coaches' All-Big Ten team. Vereen picked up a honorable mention nod via the media vote.
Redshirt sophomore Theiren Cockran, Hageman's defensive linemate, was tasked this season with replacing D.L. Wilhite, the Gophers' 2012 second team All-Big Ten defensive end. Cockran did just that. Ranked fourth in the Big Ten in sacks (8), Cockran followed Wilhite's lead by getting pegged to the media's All-Big Ten second team.
No Gophers offensive lineman, one of Minnesota's most improved position groups, made the first or second team cut. But left guard Zac Epping (coaches), right tackle Josh Campion (coaches) and right Caleb Bak (coaches and media) all earned honorable mention.
Sophomore cornerback Eric Murray and redshirt sophomore punter Peter Mortell also made the honorable mention lists (coaches and media).