Big 10's Top 10 Players
Albert Young, RB
He recovered from a torn ACL in 2004 and led the Big Ten in conference rushing with 125.2 yards per game en route to earning second-team All-Big Ten honors. At 5-foot-10, 209 pounds, Young isn't a power back, but he's not afraid to rumble between the tackles. The junior boasts solid speed and fabulous hands.
Tyrell Sutton, RB
The consensus Big Ten Freshman of the Year posted 1,870 all-purpose yards (the nation's 12th-highest total) last season. Sutton will benefit from the entire offensive line returning, but he'll suffer greatly from the loss of dynamic QB Brett Basanez.
Drew Tate, QB
As tough as any other signal-caller in the country, Tate enjoyed a solid junior year in which he threw for 2,828 yards and 22 TDs to only seven interceptions. The 6-foot, 192-pound Texas native faces a tough challenge in his third year starting, as Iowa's returning receiving corps is highly unproven.
Levi Brown, T
The Nittany Lions return only one offensive lineman from last season. Luckily, it's Brown. The second-team All-America passed on the pros for one more season under Joe Paterno. The 6-5, 328-pound beast excels in both run and pass blocking.
Mike Hart, RB
At 5-9, 193 pounds, he looks like a classic scat back, but the undersized RB packs a powerful punch and a motor that doesn't quit. Hart burst onto the scene his freshman season, rushing for 1,455 yards and nine touchdowns, but he suffered an injury-filled sophomore campaign. When healthy, he's one of the most effective backs in America.
Drew Stanton, QB
In his first four games last season, Stanton passed for 1,184 yards and 13 touchdowns, becoming an early Heisman candidate, but he came back down to Earth as the Spartans lost six of their final seven games. The dual-threat QB should enjoy a prolific senior year with an experienced group of receivers surrounding him.
Joe Thomas, T
The 6-foot-8 313-pounder combines brute strength with unusual athleticism (he began his Wisconsin career as a tight end), earning multiple first-team All-America honors in his junior season. He tore his ACL against Auburn in the Capital One Bowl, but he's expected to start the season at 100 percent.
Ted Ginn Jr., WR
He started last season slow but turned it on in the second half. His crowning performance came in the Fiesta Bowl, when he burned Notre Dame with eight catches for 167 yards and a touchdown and also posted a 68-yard score on the ground. A prep national champion in the 110-meter high hurdles, Ginn boasts burner speed.
Troy Smith, QB
He has a legitimate chance of following in Vince Young's footsteps as the second player ever to throw for 3,000 yards while rushing for 1,000 in a season. In 11 games as a junior he gained 2,282 yards through the air and 611 on the ground. Smith has excelled in big games, such as last season's Fiesta Bowl, where he earned MVP honors by throwing for 342 yards and two scores while running for an additional 66.
Paul Posluszny, LB
The final image of Posluszny last season was of his being carted off the field at the Orange Bowl after tearing up his knee. But he's back and reportedly 100 percent healthy for his senior season. As a junior he went from relative unknown to Bednarik Award winner as the nation's top defensive player. "Poz" compiled 116 tackles, including 11 for loss.