Gopher sophomore kicker Emmit Carpenter was named the 2016 Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year on Tuesday. Carpenter is the first Gopher to be honored with this award, and is the first Gopher to receive an individual Big Ten award since Peter Mortell and Maxx Williams in 2014.
Carpenter has scored 104 points on the season, which is the second highest scoring season of a kickier in Gopher history behind Dan Nystrom’s 109 points in 2000. Carpenter still has the Gophers bowl game to try and break the record.
Carpenter is a Lou Groza award semifinalist and is 21-23 on field goals this season and 41-42 on extra points. He is a perfect 9-of-9 on field goals from 40 yards or greater, including 2-2 from over 50 yards out. He made both 50+ yard kicks in the same game against Purdue becoming only the second Gopher in history with more than one kick of 50+ yards in a game. He is the lone Gopher in history to make three kicks of 40+ yards in one game as he did against Indiana State.
Carpenter somehow was only named First Team All-Big Ten by the media. He was named Second Team All-Big Ten by the coaches who decided Penn State kicker Tyler Davis was more deserving of the honor.
Several members of the Gopher defense were also honored in the awards announced Tuesday. Junior defensive tackle Steven Richardson was named to the Third Team All-Big Ten by both the media and coaches. Five other members of the Gopher defense were named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten including Jonathan Celestin, Scott Epke, Jalen Myrick who were honored by both the coaches and the media and Damarius Travis and Jack Lynn who were honored by the media. Hendrick Ekpe was announced as the Gophers Sportsmanship Award Winner.
The Rest of the Individual All-Big Ten Awards on defense went to the logical cast of characters. The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Linebacker of the Year and Returner of the Year all went to Michigan’s Jabril Peppers. The Defensive Lineman of the Year went to Ohio State’s Tyquan Lewis. The Defensive Back of the Year went to Jourdain Lewis of Michigan. The Punter of the Year went to Cameron Johnson of Ohio State. Finally, the Big Ten Coach of the Year was split. The coaches chose Paul Chryst of Wisconsin, while the media chose James Franklin of Penn State.
The Big Ten Offensive Awards will be announced Wednesday afternoon where we should expect a few more Gophers being honored, most notably Rodney Smith.