University of Washington

Husky linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year

Washington linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven (25) celebrates an interception in the fourth quarter put the game away. The Washington Huskies played the Colorado Buffaloes in a NCAA football game at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018.
Washington linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven (25) celebrates an interception in the fourth quarter put the game away. The Washington Huskies played the Colorado Buffaloes in a NCAA football game at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. joshua.bessex@gateline.com

Washington linebacker Ben Burr-Kiven was named the Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday night.

Burr-Kiven, who was also named the Pac-12 Football Scholar Athlete of the Year, leads the country with 165 total tackles. He’s third in the country in tackles per game with 12.7 behind only New Mexico State’s Javahn Ferguson (13.2) and Central Michigan’s Malik Fountain (13.9).

Burr-Kirven also has four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two interception on the season.

It’s the second consecutive year a UW player was named Defensive Player of the Year. Defensive lineman Vita Vea won the award last season.

Washington State’s Gardner Minshew is the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year.

Minshew ranks second in the country in passing yards, completing 433-of-613 passes for 4,477 yards and 36 touchdowns this season. He’s first in passing yards per game with 373.1.

Cougars head coach Mike Leach was named the conference’s Coach of the Year. Washington State finished the season 10-2 and ranked No. 13.

Oregon State’s Jermar Jefferson was selected Freshman Offensive Player of the Year, while Arizona State’s Merlin Robertson was named the Freshman Defensive Player of the Year.

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Lauren Kirschman is the UW Huskies beat writer for The News Tribune. She previously covered the Pittsburgh Steelers for PennLive.com. A Pennsylvania native and a University of Pittsburgh graduate, she also covered college athletics for the Beaver County Times from 2012-2016.
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