B1G puts 3 on Sporting News top player list


The Sporting News has come out with its list of the Top 25 players in college football for the 2013 season, and it includes three from the Big Ten.

The list is based on both college performance and pro potential. Returning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is No. 1, followed by USC receiver Marqise Lee. Surprisingly, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is only No. 4.

Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller leads the Big Ten contingent at No. 7 on the list. Here's what the Sporting News wrote about Miller:

"Urban Meyer says Miller is the best athlete he has ever coached. He’ll need all of that this fall: The Buckeyes aren’t playing with house money anymore. Miller will be Manziel’s top competition for the Heisman Trophy if he becomes more proficient in the passing game."

Taylor Lewan, the Michigan left tackle who mostly handled Clowney in the Outback Bowl, checks in at No. 11, tops among offensive linemen.

"A prototypical left tackle. Long and rangy with a strong base. Don’t be surprised if, by next May, Lewan is a top 5 pick in the NFL Draft."

Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby rounds out the list at No. 25.

"Under Urban Meyer, Roby has become more of a cover corner than an athlete playing the position. Like Florida's Loucheiz Purifoy, a dynamic player with the ball in his hands or in big play situations."

It's a pretty good list, and it's hard to argue with many of the selections, although guys like Penn State's Allen Robinson, Nebraska's Taylor Martinez, Northwestern's Venric Mark and Wisconsin's Chris Borland could make strong cases for inclusion.