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Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Austin Allen Wins Big Ten Tight End of the Year Award After Record-Breaking Season

December 01, 2021

Husker tight end Austin Allen earned first-team All-Big Ten honors from the media and also won the Big Ten’s Tight End of the Year award, the conference announced on Wednesday morning.

Allen had a special season, the type of year fans have been yearning for from a tight end in Frost’s offense.

The Aurora, Nebraska, native set new single-season school records for catches (38) and receiving yards (602) by a Nebraska tight end. Allen broke the catches record—which was previously 34 from Tyler Hoppes in 2017—at Wisconsin. He then broke the receiving record in his final game as Husker when he hauled in two passes for 55 yards—he had needed just 14 receiving yards to break the record coming into the contest with the Hawkeyes. The previous receiving record was set in 1978 by Junior Miller, who racked up 560 yards.

Allen is the first all-conference player on offense in the Frost era since 2018 when receivers Stanley Morgan Jr. and JD Spielman were selected second- and third-team by both the coaches and media, respectively. Allen is also the first all-conference offensive player to earn first-team all-conference accolades since receiver Kenny Bell in 2014.

Allen’s best single-game performance this season was at Wisconsin, where he finished with seven catches for 143 yards. Allen had one other 100-yard receiving performance—at Minnesota, where he hauled in five catches for 121 yards and one touchdown.

Here’s what Allen said following his performance at Wisconsin:

“If I had my choice, I’d go zero catches all season if I knew we’d win every game, and I know a lot of the guys on the team feel the same way,” Allen said. “But I’m grateful for it. There were plays to be made across the board today, and a lot of us went out and did it. We just came out one or two plays short.”

Allen was reflective following his final game in a Nebraska uniform.

“It was a frustrating season,” Allen said. “But I know in my case, there’s a smile on my face because it happened. I got my faith to lean back on. The game of football is just a small part of life. One out of one of us is going to die, and where we’re going to spend eternity, that’s up in question. I hope to show people with the way I play football that I glorify God in the way I play sports. I hope people saw that. But I’m not sad that it’s over, I’m happy because it happened.”

Allen wasn’t the only Husker on offense to be recognized.

Center Cam Jurgens was voted third-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and was an honorable-mention pick by the media. The Beatrice native and former four-star tight end prospect started every game at center in 2021 and seemed to fix his snapping issues that plagued him in 2020. The athletic lineman has a streak of 18 starts under his belt.

Led by Jurgens, Nebraska’s offensive line has helped pave the way for the sixth-best rushing attack in the Big Ten at 180.17 yards per game. The highlight of the season was the win over Northwestern, where the Jurgens-led o-line helped the Huskers rack up 427 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

Record-breaking quarterback Adrian Martinez was tabbed as an honorable-mention pick by the coaches. Receiver Samori Touré was also honorable mention by the media.

The dual-threat Martinez was second in the Big Ten in average total offense with 308 yards per game. He finished his season with 14 passing touchdowns and 13 rushing scores. The California native broke the school’s all-time total yards record with 10,792 yards.

Touré will go down as a transfer-portal success story. The FCS All-American transfer from Montana led the Huskers in receiving with 46 catches for 898 yards and five touchdowns. He tied the Nebraska season record with five 100-yard receiving games.

Here are all of Nebraska’s first-, second- or third-team All-Big Ten selections on offense since joining the conference in 2011.

YEARPLAYERPOSCOACHESMEDIA
2011Rex BurkheadRB1st Team1st Team
2011Mike CaputoC2--
2011Spencer LongG--2
2012Taylor MartinezQB12
2012Ameer AbdullahRB2--
2012Kenny BellWR22
2012Spencer LongG11
2012Jeremiah SirlesT22
2013Ameer AbdullahRB11
2013Cole PensickC2--
2014Ameer AbdullahRB22
2014Kenny BellWR1--
2015Jordan WesterkampWR22
2015Alex LewisT23
2016Jordan WesterkampWR33
2016Nick GatesT--3
2017Stanley Morgan Jr.WR22
2017JD SpielmanWR--3
2018Stanley Morgan Jr.WR22
2018JD SpielmanWR33
2021Austin AllenTE21
2021Cam JurgensC3--
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