The Boilermakers are touting Painter as a Heisman candidate with the Web site cutispainter12.com. Painter will probably break Drew Brees' Big Ten record of 11,792 career passing yards.
2 of 10AJ Mast/Icon SMI
Greg Middleton, DE
Middleton burst on the scene last season, leading the nation with 16 sacks as a sophomore. How will he fair now that Big Ten defenses will specifically scheme against him in 2008?
3 of 10Aaron Josefczyk/Icon SMI
Alex Boone, LT
Boone will start for the Buckeyes for the fourth straight season. He has the build (6-foot-8, 313 pounds) and footwork to become a top NFL lineman.
4 of 10Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
Javon Ringer, RB
The 5-foot-9, 209-pound burner averaged 5.9 yards per carry in rushing for 1,447 yards and six touchdowns. And this season, he doesn't have to share carries with Jehuu Caulcrick.
5 of 10Randy Litzinger/Icon SMI
Maurice Evans, DE
The 6-foot-2, 264-pounder rose to superstar status as a junior, recording 54 tackles, 12.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss. Evans is most menacing force on the conference's top defensive line.
6 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Travis Beckum, TE
Beckum began his Wisconsin career as a linebacker, but shifted to tight end after his freshman season. Beckum has posted 136 catches for 1,885 yards and 11 touchdowns since the switch.
7 of 10Mark Cowan/Icon SMI
Vontae Davis, CB
The younger brother of 49ers tight end Vernon Davis boasts supreme playmaking ability and shuts down one side of the field. This will probably be his last season in Champaign before the NFL comes calling.
8 of 10Damian Strohmeyer/SI
Malcolm Jenkins, CB
Jenkins flirted with the NFL, but decided to return to Ohio State for his senior season. He proclaimed he wanted to win the Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back. He enters this season as many peoples' favorite to take home the hardware.
9 of 10John Biever/SI
James Laurinaitis, LB
The leader of Ohio State's vaunted defense will go down as one of the greatest Big Ten linebackers of all time. Laurinaitis won the Nagurski Award (nation's best defensive player) in 2006 and the Butkus Award (nation's best linebacker) last season.
10 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Chris "Beanie" Wells, RB
Wells enters the season atop many Heisman lists. The 6-foot-1, 237-pound workhorse played through injuries all year long in 2007 and still rushed for 1,609 yards and 15 touchdowns. "Beanie" single-handedly beat Michigan, carrying the ball 39 times for 222 yards and two touchdowns.
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