Big Ten rankings: No. 1, Jared Crick

August, 29, 2011
8/29/11
9:00
AM ET
The Big Ten player rankings, based on past performance and potential impact for the 2011 season, have reached their zenith. So who enters the fall as the league's No. 1 player? ...

No. 1: Jared Crick, DT, Nebraska, Sr., 6-6, 285

2010 numbers: Started all 14 games; led Huskers in both sacks (9.5) and tackles for loss (17); ranked second in the Big 12 in sacks and fifth in tackles for loss; recorded 70 tackles (36 solo), which led all Big 12 defensive linemen; had one forced fumble, 10 quarterback hurries and two pass breakups

[+] EnlargeCrick
Bruce Thorson/US PresswireBig Ten newcomer, Nebraska defensive tackle Jared Crick, is the Big Ten's No. 1 player.
Why he's here: A Big Ten defensive lineman has finished No. 1 in the postseason player rankings in each of the past two seasons: Michigan's Brandon Graham (2009) and Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan (2010). The Big Ten had five defensive linemen selected in the first round of April's NFL draft. While positions like quarterback, running back and even linebacker have endured some ups and downs, the Big Ten has consistently produced nationally elite defensive linemen. It's a pretty good bet the trend will continue in 2011.

Crick isn't ranked No. 1 solely because he plays defensive line, but it certainly doesn't hurt his case. The Nebraska senior is a beast on the interior, recording 9.5 sacks in each of the past two seasons to go with 32 tackles for loss -- huge numbers for a defensive tackle. He's not simply a space eater and consistently harasses opposing quarterbacks, recording 26 hurries in the past two seasons. While some will compare Crick with his good friend and former teammate Ndamukong Suh, he's a different type of player who can have a similar impact on games.

A unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selection last year after earning second-team honors in 2009, Crick was a second-team AP All-American and surprised many when he bypassed the NFL draft to return for his final season. He enters the 2011 season on most All-America lists. He needs 10.5 sacks to set the Nebraska team record and, barring injury, will finish his career with more than 40 games started. Crick anchors arguably the Big Ten's top defensive line and thinks Nebraska has what it takes to win the league and compete for a national title.

Some might be surprised to see a Big Ten newcomer ranked No. 1 on the countdown, but Crick is the real deal.

Previously

  • No. 25: Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin
  • No. 24: Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State
  • No. 23: Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa
  • No. 22: Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa
  • No. 21: Nathan Scheelhaase, QB, Illinois
  • No. 20: John Simon, DL, Ohio State
  • No. 19: Ricardo Allen, CB, Purdue
  • No. 18: Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin
  • No. 17: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
  • No. 16: Derek Moye, WR, Penn State
  • No. 15: Jeremy Ebert, WR, Northwestern
  • No. 14: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
  • No. 13: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
  • No. 12: David Molk, C, Michigan
  • No .11: Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
  • No. 10: Mike Martin, DT, Michigan
  • No. 9: Edwin Baker, RB, Michigan State
  • No. 8: Riley Reiff, LT, Iowa
  • No. 7: James White, RB, Wisconsin
  • No. 6: Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State
  • No. 5: Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska
  • No. 4: Mike Brewster, C, Ohio State
  • No. 3: Dan Persa, QB, Northwestern
  • No. 2: Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan
Previously

  • No. 25: Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin
  • No. 24: Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State
  • No. 23: Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa
  • No. 22: Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa
  • No. 21: Nathan Scheelhaase, QB, Illinois
  • No. 20: John Simon, DL, Ohio State
  • No. 19: Ricardo Allen, CB, Purdue
  • No. 18: Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin
  • No. 17: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
  • No. 16: Derek Moye, WR, Penn State
  • No. 15: Jeremy Ebert, WR, Northwestern
  • No. 14: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
  • No. 13: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
  • No. 12: David Molk, C, Michigan
  • No .11: Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
  • No. 10: Mike Martin, DT, Michigan
  • No. 9: Edwin Baker, RB, Michigan State
  • No. 8: Riley Reiff, LT, Iowa
  • No. 7: James White, RB, Wisconsin
  • No. 6: Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State
  • No. 5: Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska
  • No. 4: Mike Brewster, C, Ohio State
  • No. 3: Dan Persa, QB, Northwestern

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

BIG TEN SCOREBOARD

Monday, 12/29
Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12