- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Ranking the Big Ten's top 30 players ...
Traye Simmons, CB, Minnesota, Sr., 5-11, 179
Simmons Why he's here: Simmons needed only one season to establish himself as one of the Big Ten's top cornerbacks. The junior-college transfer from Marietta, Ga., earned second-team All-Big Ten honors last season after leading the league and ranking fifth nationally in passes defended (18, 14 pass breakups).
Simmons picked off four passes for the Gophers, returning one for a touchdown. He recorded two interceptions against Northwestern and an interception and a forced fumble against Florida Atlantic.
A prototypical cornerback at 5-11 and 179 pounds, Simmons considered entering the NFL draft before opting to return for his senior season. With Malcolm Jenkins and Vontae Davis gone to the pros, Simmons enters the fall as a likely first-team all-conference pick alongside Iowa's Amari Spievey.