After a day off to enjoy some great weather and a little Sunday Funday activities it's back to the countdown here at The B1G Time. For the 2nd straight time on our list we've got a first entrant for a team, this time from the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
However, we are sticking with the same position after we left you with a look at No. 17 Cody Latimer of the Indiana Hoosiers. As we enter the 2013 season a pattern seems to be emerging in that most of the talent at the skill positions are coming from juniors or sophomores, indicating that the best is probably yet to come for a lot of the conference.
Before we get into the next player on the list, let us remind you of what criteria we used to make our Top 25 list. We used things like importance to your team, overall skill at your position, records set, past performance, conference honors (coaches, media, our list too), and the good old-fashioned eye test.
No. 16: Kenny Bell (WR, Nebraska)
2012 Stats/Honors: 50 receptions, 863 yards, 8 touchdowns, 17.3ypc; 2nd team All-B1G by coaches and media
What makes him worthy: When we spoke of Cody Latimer the terms size and speed were used, but in Bell's case it's a lot more about speed than size. Don't get us wrong, he's crazy strong, it's just that he's not the tallest receiver you've ever heard of, standing all of 6'1" and such.
He's a godsend to a player like Taylor Martinez and frankly makes the quarterback look better and that's all you can ask for from a top notch wide receiver. Bell is perhaps one of the top 2 wide receivers in the Big Ten and could easily end up being named the wide receiver of the year when it's all said and done, yet he's just entering his junior season.
Last season Bell set records for the most receptions, yards, and touchdowns by a sophomore in Nebraska history. Sure, it's not as if there was a long history of amazing passing at Nebraska, but you don't set records and be mediocre.
Additionally the offense passed for nearly 800 yards more last season than it did in 2011 and nearly 45 yards more a game. Bell's emergence last year was a big part of that increased production to say the least.
Bell runs great routes, isn't afraid to go over the middle and who can forget his ability to throw his body around from the Big Ten Championship game?
It also helps that Bell was able to emerge as the main weapon with a player like the established Quincy Enunwa already on board in Lincoln. Bell looked even better this spring and could be poised for a major breakout year in 2013 should Martinez stay healthy and the o-line situation get figured out as well.
The Top 25 Players List:
No. 25: Christian Bryant (S, Ohio State)
No. 24: Ryan Groy (OL, Wisconsin)
No. 23: Isaiah Lewis (S, Michigan State)
No. 22: Carlos Hyde (RB, Ohio State)
No. 21: Denicos Allen (LB, Michigan State)
No. 20: Jacob Pedersen (TE, Wisconsin)
No. 19: Zac Epping (C, Minnesota)
No. 18: Jordan Hall (RB, Ohio State)
No. 17: Cody Latimer (WR, Indiana)