Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Phil Steele names preseason All-B1G teams
By Brian Bennett
The tireless Phil Steele, he of the eponymous and indispensable college football preview magazine, has come out with his preseason All-Big Ten teams. You can find them -- which include four teams for offense, defense and special teams -- on his blog here.
Some of Steele's choices were obvious ones, like Montee Ball, Rex Burkhead, Ricky Wagner and Taylor Lewan on the first-team offense, and John Simon, Kawann Short, William Gholston, Gerald Hodges, Chris Borland, Mike Taylor and Johnny Adams on the first-team defense.
Steele picked Michigan's Denard Robinson as his first-team quarterback, with Ohio State's Braxton Miller on the second team. Iowa's James Vandenberg doesn't appear on his top four teams, which is very surprising.
Receiver may be the hardest position to figure out this year in the Big Ten. Steele has Wisconsin's Jared Abbrederis, Iowa's Keenan Davis and Michigan's Roy Roundtree on his first team. He picks Ohio State's Jake Stoneburner as the top tight end in a year when that position could be stacked. Wisconsin's Travis Frederick, Michigan State's Chris McDonald and Nebraska's Spencer Long are the first-team interior linemen.
Steele likes Ohio State's Johnathan Hankins as a first-team performer on the defensive line. He goes with four linebackers, making room for Illinois' Jonathan Brown. Iowa's Micah Hyde joins Adams at first-team cornerback, while Michigan State's Isaiah Lewis and Ohio State's C.J. Barnett are the safeties.
Wisconsin leads the way with seven first-team picks, while Michigan State has the most players on all four teams, with 16. Ohio State has 15, including receivers Corey Brown and Devin Smith on the fourth team. Minnesota had only one player on Steele's top four teams -- Troy Stoudermire, who appears as the fourth-team cornerback and fourth-team kick returner.