Brett Maher, Lavonte David, Alfonzo Dennard Highlight Nebraska's Big Ten Awards

LINCOLN, NE - NOVEMBER 25: Wide receiver Marvin McNutt #7 of the Iowa Hawkeyes catches a pass while being wrapped up by cornerback Alfonzo Dennard #15 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers during their game at Memorial Stadium November 25, 2011 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Eric Francis/Getty Images)

Nebraska didn't fair too badly in its first year in the Big Ten, scooping up some coveted awards.

Brett Maher was named as the league's most valuable punter AND kicker, just in case you were wondering how good a job he did in replacing Alex Henery. Those awards were the Bakken-Anderson Kicker of the Year and Eddleman-Fields Punter of the Year. Not too shabby for his first year on the job.

Lavonte David, to the surprise of no one, picked up the Butkus-Fitsgerald Linebacker of the Year Award while Alfonzo Dennard won the Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year Award.

The league selects two separate team-based awards, one by coaches, one by media, and Nebraska did well on both accounts.

Running back Rex Burkead was named to the first team by both the coaches and the media, as were Lavonte David, Alfonzo Dennard and Brett Maher. Maher had the honor of earning dual awards as kicker and punter. Burkhead was the third leading rusher (in both yardage and yards per game) in the Big Ten behind Iowa's Marcus Coker, so his selection to both teams could be considered somewhat of a surprise.

Center Mike Caputo tied with Mike Brewster of Ohio State for second team honors by the coaches, while walk-on and first-year starter guard Spencer Long was award second team by the media. I have to honestly say I'm surprised by both of those selections. In Caputo's case, tying with Mike Brewster is a little shocking, as Brewster is typically considered an incredibly good center (All Big Ten first team in 2010 and a Rimington Trophy finalist). In Long's case, that he was recognized in his first year says volumes about the job he did on the field.

Honorable mentions were as follows:

Coaches: Will Compton, Ben Cotton, Spencer Long, Marcel Jones, and Baker Steinkuhler.

Media: Mike Caputo, Austin Cassidy, Will Compton, Ben Cotton, Marcel Jones, Cameron Meredith, Daimion Stafford and Baker Steinkuhler. 

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