- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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It's time for another installment in our Big Ten Top 25 players countdown. Remember that we are basing these rankings on 2011 performance and impact and not other factors like NFL potential.
Now we turn to one half of the league's best receiver duo in 2011:
No. 14: B.J. Cunningham, WR, Michigan State, Sr., 6-2, 215
Preseason rank: Not ranked
2011 numbers: Caught 79 passes for 1,306 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Why he's here: Cunningham made the leap from good to great in 2011. A productive receiver from the time he started playing as a freshman in 2008, Cunningham more than doubled his previous career high for receiving yards in a season and blossomed into a true, No. 1 wideout.
Using his size, physicality and speed, Cunningham had eight games of more than 100 yards receiving last season, including a three-touchdown performance against Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game. He burned Ohio State for nine catches and 154 yards on a day when offense was hard to come by.
Cunningham finished his career as Michigan State's all-time leader in receptions and yards. His production and leadership will be hard to replace in 2012.
No. 15: John Simon, DL, Ohio State
No. 16: Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan
No. 17: Peter Konz, C, Wisconsin
No. 18: A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois
No. 19: Gerald Hodges, LB, Penn State
No. 20: Kevin Zeitler, G, Wisconsin
No. 21: Marcus Coker, RB, Iowa
No. 22: Silas Redd, RB, Penn State
No. 23: Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
No. 24: Mike Taylor, LB, Wisconsin
No. 25: Fitz Toussaint, RB, Michigan