Friday, February 24, 2012
Big Ten rankings: No. 13, Riley Reiff
By Adam Rittenberg
The Big Ten postseason Top 25 player countdown keeps chugging along. As a reminder, we're basing these rankings on 2011 performance and impact and not other factors like NFL potential.
That said, it's time to spotlight an Iowa player who happens to have excellent NFL potential ...
No. 13: Riley Reiff, LT, Iowa, Jr., 6-6, 300
Preseason rank: No. 8
2011 numbers: Reiff started all 13 games at left tackle and ended his career with 34 consecutive starts and 37 overall.
Why he's here: Offensive linemen are usually spotlighted for bad things like penalties or sacks allowed, so the fact we didn't hear much about Reiff in 2011 underscores his steady play. Although Iowa's offense had its good moments and its struggles, Reiff provided a consistent presence at left tackle. He earned first-team All-Big Ten honors from both the coaches and the media, and appeared on several postseason All-America squads. Reiff protected the Big Ten's No. 3 passer in James Vandenberg and helped running back Marcus Coker rush for 1,384 yards.
A physical player with polished fundamentals, Reiff contained several of the nation's top pass-rushers in his career. With little to prove, he declared for the NFL draft in early January. Like his Iowa predecessor Bryan Bulaga, Reiff will forgo his final season, and he's expected to be the first Big Ten player selected in April.
No. 14: B.J. Cunningham, WR, Michigan State
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