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Eight Blackshirts Earn Big Ten Honors

Photo Credit: NU Athletic Communications Photo Credit: NU Athletic Communications

Eight members of Nebraska’s defense were honored on Tuesday as the Big Ten Conference office announced its 2023 defensive honors. 

The 2023 defense ranked as Nebraska’s best since joining the Big Ten in several statistical categories. The Blackshirts’ averages in total defense (303.5 ypg), scoring defense (18.3 ppg) and rushing defense (92.9 ypg) were all program bests since at least 2010. The Huskers held eight of 12 opponents to 14 or fewer points. NU limited eight opponents to fewer than 100 rushing yards and six foes under 300 yards of total offense.

The honorees included senior linebacker Luke Reimer, who earned third-team honors by the Big Ten coaches and honorable-mention accolades from the media panel. Other honorable-mention selections included safety Omar Brown (coaches, media), rover Isaac Gifford (coaches, media), cornerback Tommi Hill (coaches, media), nose tackle Nash Hutmacher (coaches, media), cornerback Quinton Newsome (coaches, media), defensive lineman Ty Robinson (coaches, media), and defensive end Jimari Butler (media).

Reimer, a graduate of Lincoln North Star High School, earned all-conference recognition for the third consecutive season. He finished the season with 48 tackles in 10 games, while his five sacks ranked second on the team and his 7.5 tackles for loss were third for the Blackshirts. Reimer, who had earned honorable-mention recognition in both 2021 and 2022, finished his Husker career third on the school’s all-time tackles list with 293 stops.

A senior cornerback from Suwanee, Ga., Newsome earned conference honors for the second straight season after also being an honorable-mention choice in 2022. Newsome finished the year with 37 tackles, an interception and a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown.

The remaining defensive honorees earned All-Big Ten recognition for the first time in 2023. Brown tied for second on the team with 51 tackles, while forcing two fumbles, recovering a fumble and adding an interception. Gifford manned the rover position for Nebraska and led the Huskers in tackles with 86 stops, the most by a Husker defensive back in nine seasons. Gifford was second on the team with eight pass breakups while his 6.5 tackles for loss was among the best for Big Ten defensive backs.

The fourth member of the secondary to be honored was junior cornerback Tommi Hill, who led the Huskers with four interceptions and nine pass breakups. In conference play, Hill led the Big Ten with 1.33 passes defended per game.

Nebraska’s strong run defense was led by a trio of defensive linemen who earned honorable-mention recognition. Hutmacher manned the middle of the Nebraska defense and recorded 40 tackles to go along with eight tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and a blocked field goal against Iowa. Robinson finished the year with 29 tackles, including four tackles for loss. He was disruptive at the line of scrimmage with six pass breakups and a team-high 11 quarterback hurries along with a blocked field goal against Iowa. Defensive end Jimari Butler led the Huskers with 5.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss among his 34 overall tackles on the season.

The Big Ten will announce all-conference offensive honors on Wednesday.

 All-Big Ten Defensive Honors

Third Team

Luke Reimer, LB (Coaches)


Luke Reimer, LB (Media)

Jimari Butler, DE (Media)

Omar Brown, S (Coaches, Media)

Isaac Gifford, Rover (Coaches, Media)

Tommi Hill, CB (Coaches, Media)

Nash Hutmacher, NT (Coaches, Media)

Quinton Newsome, CB (Coaches, Media)

Ty Robinson, DL (Coaches, Media)