Antoine Winfield Jr. wasted no time in making an impact for the Gophers, and on Monday the Big Ten recognized him for it.
Winfield was named Big Ten co-special teams player of the week after he returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown in the Gophers’ 48-10 season-opening victory over New Mexico State on Thursday night. Winfield shares the award with Michigan defensive back Ambry Thomas, who had a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in a 24-17 loss at Notre Dame.
Winfield, who missed the final eight games of the 2017 season because of a hamstring injury, broke five tackles on the return. He also made five tackles on defense. “It’s nice to have him back on the field, isn’t it?” coach P.J. Fleck said after the game.
Other Big Ten weekly award winners were:
Offensive player of the week: Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
Co-defensive players of the week: Illinois linebacker Jake Hansen and Maryland defensive back Antoine Brooks Jr.
Co-freshmen of the week: Maryland wide receiver Jeshaun Jones and Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore.