Spring games are in the books and now it's time to start looking forward to fall camps… Yep, we've officially hit the dead zone in Big Ten country. However, that doesn't mean we aren't going to bring you the hard hitting coverage, opinions and rankings we are known for. Having said that, it's time we unveil the newest feature here on TheB1GTime.com and that's our player rankings!
What gets you on our list? Well, we take a lot into consideration, 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. Most of us have poured over our DVR's of spring games, taken a look back at last season and we've come up with our first ever Top 25 Big Ten Football Players list.
This list will be revisited towards the end of fall camp and we'll also give your our official and final list following the season that was 2013. Before we get to No. 25, here are a list of players who you won't see that you might be expecting to see & those that just missed out on the first Top 25 list:
- Jake Ryan (LB, Michigan): Sorry folks, in order to make our list you better be able to play and Ryan's ACL tear this spring pretty much sealed the deal on him not making this list
- Marcus Rush (DE, MSU): Just missed out on the votes, but is a name to watch in 2013
- Ricardo Allen (CB, Purdue): This guy is electric when he's making INT's, the problem is he hasn't exactly rounded into an all-around player just yet.
- Mike Sadler (P, MSU): Hey, can't tell there was a pattern to the voting of one of our writers or anything…
- Jeff Budzien (K, Northwestern): With Maher gone it's up to Budzien to keep the torch of solid Big Ten kickers going, he did a fine job last season.
- Stephen Houston (RB, Indiana): He's a TD machine, but the offense doesn't showcase his skills enough thanks to an OL that needs to get better fast.
Now on to the countdown!!
No. 25: Christian Bryant (Safety, Ohio State)
2012 Stats: 71 tackles, 1tfl, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 13 passes defensed, 12 break up's, 1 INT
What makes him worthy: Bryant is a ball hawk plain and simple. He may not have the INT numbers that are so en vogue for defensive backs of any kind these days, but as he enters his senior season in Columbus it's clear he is one of the top safeties in the conference.
He was 2nd on the Buckeyes in tackles behind linebacker Ryan Shazier and 2nd on the team in both passes defensed and broken up. That's exactly what you want out of your safety to say the least. For his efforts last season Bryant was named 2nd team All-Big Ten by the coaches and honorable mention by the media.
Bryant comes into 2013 as the 2nd leading returning player in pass break up's, behind only teammate Bradley Roby. Not only is he a dynamic ball hawk he might be the most physical safety in the conference. The true senior is 5'10" and weighs 192lbs.
It says a lot about a player when he's able to come in and be an impact player for you all four years. Bryant saw action in 7 games on the defensive side of the ball his freshman year, along with special teams duty.
Stick around for the next 24 days as we unveil the rest of the list, you never know when your favorite player from your favorite team may end up on the list!!