FRESNO, Calif. — His spectacular interception cemented a comeback victory over Fresno State in the early morning hours Sunday and now, Gophers defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. is basking in the spotlight as Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week.
Besides his walk-off interception in the double overtime 38-35 win over the Bulldogs, Winfield also notched four solo tackles and had one sack as Minnesota staged a fourth quarter rally.
This is the second straight year that Winfield stunned Fresno State with an interception in the end zone to help secure a Minnesota win. Last year, he made an interception in the end zone late in the fourth quarter on a trick play to preserve a Minnesota 21-14 victory.
This is the third time that the conference has honored Winfield, as he was named Defensive Player of the Week (Sept. 10, 2018) and Special Teams player of the Week (Sept. 3, 2018) last season.
Winfield is the first Gopher to be recognized three times by the Big Ten since former Gopher kicker Emmit Carpenter was named Special Teams Player of the Week three times (once in 2018 and twice in 2016).
The Gophers big win is generating attention for other reasons as well. Music giant John Legend was in the stands for the game watching his nephew Michael Brown-Stephens, and made his way down to the U of M locker room for a post game pump-em-up that is now getting play on social media.