Monday, February 22, 2010
Big Ten rankings: Evan Royster, No. 15
The Big Ten postseason player rankings, based on past performance and future potential, continue with ...
Evan Royster, RB, Penn State, Jr., 6-1, 213
Preseason rank: 4
Why he's here: Royster put together another solid season as Penn State's featured back, rushing for 1,169 yards (5.7 ypc) and six touchdowns. It might not have been the huge performance Royster expected, but he was working behind a new-look offensive line that took time to jell. Royster's yards-per-carry average led Big Ten backs who had at least 150 attempts, and he recorded five of his six 100-yard rushing performances in conference play.
Royster will be ranked higher in the 2010 preseason rundown, and his somewhat surprising return to Penn State gives the Lions a major boost. It will be interesting to see if his carries increase to 20-25, as NFL teams want to see if he can handle a full load. With so much uncertainty at quarterback, Penn State should be willing to lean on Royster, a proven commodity in the Big Ten. A strong senior season could help him get into the first round of the 2011 draft.