CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Five Illinois football players were named to Midseason All-American lists on Tuesday, including three as first team selections. Only five teams across the country, including the Illini (6-1), along with Alabama, Georgia, Michigan and Ohio State, had three players listed on first teams.

Chase Brown:

Associated Press Midseason All-American (First Team)

The Athletic Midseason All-American (First Team)

Sporting News Midseason All-American (First Team)

Johnny Newton:

Associated Press Midseason All-American (First Team)
The Athletic Midseason All-America (Second Team)

Quan Martin:

Sporting News Midseason All-America (First Team)

Devon Witherspoon:

The Athletic Midseason All-America (Second Team)

Gabe Jacas:

The Athletic Midseason Freshman All-American
On3 Midseason True Freshman All-American

Four out of the five players are on defense, one of the biggest reasons the Illini have had so much success this season. Illinois has the top rated scoring defense in the country, only allowing 8.8 points per game. They also lead the nation in interceptions (12) and team passing efficiency defense, holding opposing quarterbacks to just a 75 pass efficiency rating. The secondary is certainly leading the way and one guy stepping up is Minnesota State transfer Terrell Jennings. The senior has seven tackles in his last three games, contributing both in the defensive backfield and on special teams.

“I was just prepared for my moment, every week I’m prepared to go in,” Jennings said. “I try to prepare just as hard if not harder than the starters so when my number is called I can come in and maintain the standards we have on D.”

Illinois is on its second bye week but will return to the field next Saturday visiting Nebraska for a 2:30 p.m. kick on either ABC or ESPN.