I’m here live at the Big Ten Football Media Day in Downtown Chicago, and the first order of business is the announcement of the preseason players to watch. This is the second year of the annual football Players to Watch list, and 10 players received recognition.
The preseason Players to Watch list is selected by a media panel and consists of five student-athletes each from the Legends Division and Leaders Division.
Representing the Legends Division are Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan and quarterback Denard Robinson, Michigan State cornerback Johnny Adams and defensive end William Gholston and Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead. The Leaders Division honorees are Ohio State defensive lineman John Simon and quarterback Braxton Miller, Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short and Wisconsin running back Montee Ball and linebacker Chris Borland.
The list includes the last two Big Ten Offensive Players of the Year in Robinson (2010) and Ball (2011), two Big Ten Freshman of the Year honorees in Borland (2009) and Miller (2011), five All-Americans and nine All-Conference selections.
Ball, Borland, Robinson, Short and Simon have each been named All-Americans in past seasons. All five Legends Division players have earned All-Big Ten honors, including first-team accolades for Adams, Burkhead and Robinson and second-team laurels for Lewan and Gholston. The Leaders Division honorees include four first-team All-Big Ten selections in Ball, Borland, Short and Simon.
Here is the complete list:
Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan
Johnny Adams, CB, Michigan State
William Gholston, DE, Michigan State
Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska
John Simon, DL, Ohio State
Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin