In what has to be considered a surprise, Ohio State's senior defensive end John Simon was named Tuesday the Big Ten's 2012 Defensive Player of the Year. Simon, who was much beloved by his teammates and coach alike (who specifically compared him favorably to his former Heisman Trophy winner with the Florida Gators, Tim Tebow, on multiple occasions) had a very good year but in some ways way limited by a bevy of injuries, one of which ultimately cost him the final game of his Ohio State career. All in all, Simon's career wraps the way it was supposed, with a humbling honor for an outstanding four year body of work on the field.
Simon, who Monday night was named the winner of the Smith-Brown award for the Big Ten's defensive lineman of the year, finished 2012 with 22 solo tackles, 23 assists, and a daunting 14.5 tackles for a loss to go along with 9 sacks. Perhaps most remarkably of all, four of those sacks came in Simon's final game, a 21-14 overtime defeat of divisional rival Wisconsin. The Buckeyes will surely miss Simon's on the field play in 2013, but they might even more miss his leadership and renowned work ethic.
Simon was joined in the accolades by Ohio State sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller, who was named the Big Ten's Offensive Player of the Year Tuesday night.