Tuesday, May 4, 2010
More spring rankings, stories, movers
By ESPN.com staff
Spring football wrap-up season is in full swing, as you can see around here.
Our pals at SI.com and The Sporting News also are putting a stamp on spring ball, and a few items caught my eye today.
SI.com's Andy Staples has issued his latest version of the way-too-early Top 25, and the outlook is very sunny for the Big Ten.
Like my ESPN.com colleague Mark Schlabach, Staples lists Ohio State as the nation's No. 3 team. He has a little more love for Iowa, putting the reigning Orange Bowl champions at No. 5. And like Schlabach, Staples puts Wisconsin at No. 9. He rounds out the Big Ten contingent with Penn State at No. 14, one of the more favorable ratings I've seen for the youthful Nittany Lions.
SI.com's Stewart Mandel has two Big Ten-related items in his list of 10 things learned during spring football. Mandel cites the development of Michigan sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson, writing that Robinson "showed off a considerably more balanced set of skills" than teammate Tate Forcier and is a good bet to start the season opener Sept. 4 against Connecticut. Mandel also writes about Penn State's shaky offensive performance in the Blue-White Game and the surprising play of freshman quarterback Paul Jones.
"Of the quarterbacks, true freshman Paul Jones (5-of-8, 67 yards, two TDs) won the eyeball test hands down, and position coach Jay Paterno said the staff is open to playing him. But one can't help but think that his father [Joe Paterno] would sooner stitch dragon flames on the Nittany Lions' jerseys than start a true freshman on the road at Alabama on Sept. 11."
The Sporting News' Dave Curtis also lists players who helped themselves with their performances this spring. Four Big Ten players make his list, two on each side of the ball.
- Iowa right tackle Markus Zusevics
- Michigan State center John Stipek
- Ohio State linebacker Dorian Bell
- Michigan safety Cameron Gordon
I'll go over my list of spring movers in the near future, but some good choices here.