As spring practice gets underway, keep an eye on these 10 players in the Big Ten.
March 06, 2017
1 of 10Jeff Haynes
J.T. Barrett, Ohio State QB
Can Barrett rediscover the form that made him a Heisman Trophy candidate in 2014? He may need to in order to get the Buckeyes back to the College Football Playoff.
2 of 10Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images
Saquon Barkley, Penn State RB
Already a star in 2016, Barkley used New Year's Day 2017 to announce his candidacy for the Heisman Trophy this season, compiling 249 yards of offense and three touchdowns against USC in the Rose Bowl.
3 of 10Jeff Haynes
Josey Jewell, Iowa LB
Jewell added another high-caliber season to his resume, leading the Hawkeyes with 124 tackles, including six tackles for loss, in 2016. If he repeats that production, he could make it three consecutive seasons with over 100 tackles.
4 of 10Doug McSchooler/AP
Tegray Scales, Indiana LB
The nation's leader in tackles for loss last season with 23.5, Scales thrived in Tom Allen's defense to also rack up a Big Ten-best 126 tackles. His seven sacks also led the Hoosiers.
5 of 10Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Justin Jackson, Northwestern RB
Jackson topped 1,000 yards on the ground for the third consecutive season, finishing with a career-best and Big Ten-leading 1,524 rushing yards in 2016. At 5'11", 193 pounds, Jackson's durability in his three seasons has been outstanding.
6 of 10Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Rodney Smith, Minnesota RB
Relatively unknown entering the 2016 season, Smith quickly established himself as one of the Big Ten's top backs, finishing the year with 1,158 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.
7 of 10Jeff Haynes
Wilton Speight, Michigan QB
As one of just five returning starter for Michigan this season, Speight faces big expectations to keep the Wolverines in the hunt for the Big Ten title. His numbers last season (61.6% completion rate, 2,538 yards passing, 18 touchdowns, seven interceptions) weren't bad, but he'll need to progress to offset some of Michigan's other losses.
8 of 10David Stluka/AP
T.J. Edwards, Wisconsin LB
Edwards did a bit of everything last season for a Badgers defense that ranked fourth in points allowed. His 89 tackles led the team while he also recorded 8.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and three interceptions. With fellow standout linebackers T.J. Watt and Vince Biegel leaving for the NFL, Wisconsin will look to Edwards to anchor the defense.
9 of 10Jeff Haynes
Jerome Baker, Ohio State LB
Injuries forced Baker into a bigger role in 2016, and he rose to the occasion, finishing with 83 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and two interceptions. Now with star linebacker Raekwon McMillan gone, Baker must take the next step in his development.
10 of 10Jeff Haynes
Trace McSorley, Penn State QB
McSorley shined in an explosive Nittany Lions offense to finish last year with a Big Ten-best 3,614 passing yards. With him and Barkley both back, Penn State should have among the best QB-RB combos in the country.
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