Royston named Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week

by Adam Richard

Kim Royston finished his Gophers career Saturday versus Illinois and was awarded his first Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week award Monday.

Royston said that this entire year was a blessing after suffering a broken leg last season.  He said he didn’t know if the NCAA would allow him another year of eligibility when he filed for a medical hardship sixth year. 

“I’m extremely happy for my last play to be a sack instead of my last play be a broken leg.  I feel extremely blessed,” Royston said.

Royston had 13 tackles against the Illini.  He finished eight games this season with double-digit tackles and led the Big Ten with 71 solo tackles on the season. 

He added his first sack of the year on the last defensive play of the game.

Royston finished the season with 123 tackles, the most by a Gophers player since 2001. 

“I wanted to leave this program on a high note,” Royston said.

The last time a Minnesota player was Defensive Player of the Week was Garrett Brown in 2009.

He shared the award with senior linebacker Lavonte David of Nebraska.