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2 Illinois football players and 1 basketball player earn Big Ten weekly honors

2 Illinois football players and 1 basketball player earn Big Ten weekly honors

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Illinois had quite a week. The Big Ten on Monday recognized three members of the football and men’s basketball teams for standout performances.

In football, wide receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe and safety Sydney Brown earned co-offensive player and co-defensive player of the week honors for their contributions in Illinois’ 37-34 victory Saturday at Michigan State. The comeback from a 28-3 deficit was the biggest in program history and made the Illini (6-4) bowl-eligible for the first time since 2014.

In basketball, center Kofi Cockburn was named Big Ten freshman of the week.

Imatorbhebhe, a transfer from USC, shared offensive honors with Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan after recording a career-high 178 yards on four receptions with two touchdowns. It was the most receiving yards by an opponent at Spartan Stadium since 2000 and the most by an Illinois player against Michigan State.

His 37-yard catch on fourth-and-17 kept alive Illinois’ drive for the winning touchdown with five seconds left. He scored on a 46-yard reception at the end of the first half and on an 83-yard pass play to start the fourth quarter.

Brown, who shared defensive honors with Minnesota safety Antoine Winfield Jr., had two interceptions, running back one 76 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. He also finished with 13 tackles, including a game-high eight solo tackles.

Cockburn was honored after averaging 14 points and 10.7 rebounds and shooting 60% from the field in his first three college games.

He had 10 points, a game-high 11 rebounds and two blocked shots in Illinois’ season-opening overtime victory against Nicholls, and he followed up with 23 points and 14 rebounds in a victory Friday at Grand Canyon. Cockburn finished the week with nine points, seven rebounds and two blocks in a loss Sunday night at Arizona.


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