Ohio State fifth-year linebacker Tommy Eichenberg was named the Big Ten Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year on Tuesday after an impressive regular season for the Buckeyes.
In just 10 games, Eichenberg – also named first-team All-Big Ten – led Ohio State’s defense with 80 tackles, and added 2.5 tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble.
“He’s huge, man,” fellow linebacker Steele Chambers said earlier this season. “What he means to this team, what he means to the defense, you just can’t really put into words. The work he puts in all offseason, the vocal leader he is to the team, I would say he’s the spirit of the team.”
Eichenberg is Ohio State’s first recipient of the Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year award since it was introduced in 2011. It is named after former Illinois linebacker Dick Butkus and former Northwestern linebacker and head coach Pat Fitzgerald.
In his five seasons with the Buckeyes, Eichenberg has already accounted for 258 tackles – 145 solo – with 20.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, two interceptions and six pass breakups with potentially another game to play for the Buckeyes.