CHAMPAIGN — Illinois redshirt junior linebacker Jake Hansen was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Monday morning by the conference following the Illini's upset of No. 6 Wisconsin.
The Big Ten honor was all but certain for Hansen after the Tarpon Springs, Fla., native was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week on Sunday. Hansen helped lead Illinois to its 24-23 upset of the Badgers with 11 tackles, two forced fumbles and one sack.
Hansen's second forced fumble, which increased his national lead to seven, helped set up Illinois' scoring drive that saw quarterback Brandon Peters connect with wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe for a 29-yard touchdown pass that cut Illinois' deficit to 23-21 late in the fourth quarter.
Hansen's seven forced fumbles through seven games are the second most in a single season in Illinois history. He is the first Big Ten player to force seven fumbles in one season since former Illini Whitney Mercilus set the program record with nine in 2011.
Hansen's Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week honor made him just the second Illinois player to claim one since 2004. Centennial grad Mikel Leshoure was named the offensive player of the week on Nov. 21, 2010.