CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Illinois senior linebacker Dele Harding in the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, the second Illini linebacker to win the honor this season.
Harding recorded 12 tackles with two tackles for loss in the win over Rutgers on Saturday. He also scored his second defensive touchdown of the season on and interception in the second half. Harding currently leads the Big Ten in tackles on the season.
“I can’t take all the credit, there’s 11 guys on the field and it just adds accolades for the defense really,” Harding said. “Just speaking volumes about how the guys have been doing as far as being in their gaps at the right time, punch outs, turnovers and everything like that so it’s definitely for the defense.”
“Who’s the leading tackler in the Big Ten? Who? Is it Dele? Who’s scored more touchdowns, defensive touchdowns than Dele Harding? Caused fumbles, recovered fumbles, what else? Whatever you’re looking at,” Lovie Smith said.
Illinois travels to Michigan State on Saturday afternoon.