After a prolific junior season in which he became the first defensive lineman in a decade to be a finalist for football’s Heisman Trophy, Ohio State’s Chase Young has been named the Big Ten’s male athlete of the year.


His selection was announced Thursday, along with Wisconsin women’s volleyball player Dana Rettke, who was the conference’s female athlete of the year.


Before leaving for the NFL draft, where he became the second overall pick, taken by the Washington Redskins, Young totaled 16.5 sacks for the Buckeyes, leading the nation and setting a single-season school record.


Helping Ohio State to return to the College Football Playoff after a two-year absence, Young also finished with 21.5 tackles for loss.


Former wrestler Kyle Snyder was the last Buckeye to be named the Big Ten male athlete of the year, doing so in 2017 as well as 2018.


The male athlete of the year award is named in honor of Jesse Owens.


jkaufman@dispatch.com


@joeyrkaufman