Back home at guard, Sean Welsh has thrived.
The Iowa senior, who shuffled between guard and tackle this season on the Hawkeye offensive line, was named Wednesday as an all-Big Ten selection, the only Iowa offensive player to land a spot on either the first or second team.
Welsh was named as a first-team selection by a league media panel and was awarded second-team recognition by conference coaches as the Big Ten unveiled its offensive all-conference selections.
Two Hawkeyes, running back Akrum Wadley and tight end Noah Fant, were selected as third-team choices by both the coaches and media.
The Big Ten named its all-league defensive and special teams players on Tuesday and is scheduled to announce its individual award winners today.
Welsh, a 6-foot-3, 295-pound native of Springboro, Ohio, has started 48 of the 51 games he has played over the past four seasons for the Hawkeyes.
He opened his senior season at right guard against Wyoming and Iowa State and moved to right tackle for three games after Ike Boettger suffered a season-ending Achilles injury before returning to the guard position for the final seven games of Iowa’s 7-5 season.
"I’ve been willing to go wherever I’m needed," Welsh said. "I’ve played more guard, so I’m probably more comfortable there, but wherever I’m at, I try to go in and perform at a high level."
A third-team all-Big Ten choice a year ago, Welsh is the 31st offensive lineman to earn first- or second-team all-conference honors during coach Kirk Ferentz’s 19-year tenure.
Wadley became the fourth Hawkeye to top 1,000 rushing yards in consecutive seasons when he broke that barrier with a 159-yard rushing effort in Friday’s win at Nebraska, and the senior from Newark, New Jersey, has now carried for 1,021 yards on the season and ranks fifth on Iowa’s career list with 2,784 yards.
Fant, a sophomore from Omaha, Nebraska, is the Hawkeyes’ second-leading receiver this season with 28 receptions covering 486 yards. His team-leading 10 touchdown receptions are the most ever by an Iowa tight end.
Iowa center James Daniels, a junior and third-year starter, was awarded honorable mention by both the coaches and media while sophomore quarterback Nate Stanley was as honorable mention choice of the media.
Nick Allegretti, an Illinois junior who started eight games at guard and four at center, received honorable mention honors on both teams and was the only Illini player recognized.