Rutgers football had five players selected to the Athlon Sports Preseason All-Big Ten teams. Athlon Sports is a media outlet that offers predictions and expert analysis based on 2023 projections.
Athlon Sports selected the following Scarlet Knights to Preseason All-Big Ten teams:
Aaron Lewis (DL) – Second Team
Deion Jennings (LB) – Third Team
Max Melton (DB) – Third Team
Wesley Bailey (DL) – Fourth Team
Hollin Pierce (OL) – Fourth Team
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#71 Aaron Lewis (DL)
Aaron Lewis from Williamstown, New Jersey, had a solid 2022 season on Rutgers’ defensive line. Lewis received Third Team All-Big Ten in the coaches’ vote, Phil Steele, and Pro Football Focus polls last season. He recorded 55 tackles with eight for loss and received Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (Media). Lewis went on to win the 2022 Co-Defensive MVP for the Scarlet Knights.
#17 Deion Jennings (LB)
Deion Jennings from Timber Creek High School in Sicklerville, New Jersey, got selected Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (Media) in 2022. Jennings recorded a team-high 91 tackles and 8.5 tackles for loss last season. He averaged 8.3 tackles per game, ranking him seventh in the Big Ten. For his efforts last season, Jennings got rewarded with the 2022 Homer Hazel Award and the 2022 Douglas A. Smith Second Effort Award.
#16 Max Melton (DB)
Max Melton from Cedar Creek High School in Mays Landing, New Jersey, was selected for the 2022 Fourth Team All-Big Ten (Phil Steele). Also, he received Honorable Mention All-Big Ten (Coaches & Media) in 2022. Last season, he contributed on defense and special teams, logging ten pass breakups, two interceptions, 33 tackles, and a nation-leading three blocked punts.
#23 Wesley Bailey (DL)
Wesley Bailey, Canadian Native from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, recorded 30 tackles with eight for loss last season. He logged 12 starts at defensive end, recording a team-high 3.5 sacks. Also, Bailey led the Big Ten with three fumble recoveries. For his effort last season, Bailey received the 2022 David Bender Award.
#72 Hollin Pierce (OL)
Hollin Pierce from Trenton Central High School in Trenton, New Jersey, started 24 games over the past two seasons. In 2022, Pierce was a candidate for the Burlsworth Trophy. The Burlsworth Trophy is an award for the most outstanding football player who began a career as a walk-on. Also, he received Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2022.