Most conferences this time of the year release their preseason players of the year. The Big Ten is not like other conferences.
Ahead of the start of the the B1G Media Days in Chicago Thursday afternoon, the Midwest league released what it calls its “Players to Watch” list. This year’s list consists of 11 players — six from the West division and five from the East. There is one more in the West than in the East due to a tie in the media voting.
While there are 11 players listed, just seven schools are represented as four members earned two players each: Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin. The schools with just one each include Iowa, Northwestern and Penn State.
Interestingly, six of the 11 come from the defensive side of the ball while five come from the offensive. Also, just one quarterback is represented, and that one wasn’t from Ohio State.
Below is the complete list of preseason honorees.
Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State
Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State
Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State
Anthony Zettel, DT, Penn State
Drew Ott, DE, Iowa
Maliek Collins, DT, Nebraska
De’Mornay Pierson-El, WR, Nebraska
Justin Jackson, RB, Northwestern
Michael Caputo, S, Wisconsin
Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin
*Additional honoree due to tie