Big Ten: Big Ten door 10

The Revolving Door: Iowa

June, 28, 2010
6/28/10
3:30
PM ET
Eleventh in a series examining key players departing, staying and arriving at Big Ten schools in 2010.

Going ...

Pat Angerer, LB: Angerer was the heart and soul of Iowa's defense in 2009, racking up 145 tackles (sixth nationally), two forced fumbles and an interception. He earned consensus first-team All-Big Ten honors, first-team All-America honors from several outlets and was a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy. Angerer always found himself around the football and had some of his best games (Penn State, Georgia Tech) against some of Iowa's better opponents.

Bryan Bulaga, LT: Despite missing three games in September with a thyroid condition, Bulaga won Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year honors and protected Ricky Stanzi's blind side. He started for two and a half seasons at left tackle/left guard and would have provided valuable experience for Iowa's line had he returns for his senior year. Bulaga earned first-team All-American honors from several outlets in 2009.


Staying ...

Adrian Clayborn, DE: Several opposing Big Ten coaches were shocked that Clayborn passed up the NFL draft for one more year in Iowa City. The consensus first-team All-Big Ten lineman could have a monster season in 2010 after recording 11.5 sacks, 20 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, nine quarterback hurries and two blocked kicks. The Orange Bowl MVP should contend for national awards this fall as he tries to lead Iowa to a Big Ten championship.

Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, WR: DJK isn't short on personality or big-time receiving numbers. He has led Iowa in receiving for three consecutive years and will take aim on two team receiving records this fall. Johnson-Koulianos needs only 31 receptions and 401 receiving yards to break Kevin Kasper's records. If Iowa continues to air it out with Stanzi, DJK should have a big year.


Coming ...

C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE: Iowa loses a very valuable piece in Tony Moeaki, a tight end who looked like an All-American at times last year. Fiedorowicz is Iowa's most decorated recruit and boasts tremendous size and athleticism. Iowa likes to feature multiple tight ends, and Fiedorowicz might be the perfect complement for Allen Reisner if he can improve his blocking.

A.J. Derby, QB: A heralded recruit who grew up right in Iowa City, Derby is already generating a ton of buzz among Hawkeyes fans. He was one of only two incoming freshmen to enroll early and go through spring practice. Although he's staying at quarterback for now, he has the skills to contribute in several ways. Derby is a great candidate to run the Wildcat or shake things up on offense with a special package of plays.

More revolving door ...

The Revolving Door: Michigan

June, 17, 2010
6/17/10
5:30
PM ET
Tenth in a series examining key players departing, staying and arriving at Big Ten schools in 2010.

Going ...

Brandon Graham, DE: Graham didn't win Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors last fall, but no defender in the league looked more dominant than No. 55. His numbers were simply insane: 26 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two blocked kicks, one recovery of a blocked punt for a touchdown. Graham's stats and leadership will be sorely missed up front.

Donovan Warren, CB: Michigan's secondary wasn't good in 2009, but it could have been even worse without Warren's contributions. He led the team with four interceptions, including a pick-six at Iowa, and also topped the chart in passes defended with seven. Warren earned first-team All-Big Ten honors from the media.


Staying ...

Stephen Schilling, G: Schilling has been through it all at Michigan, and he'll help anchor a line that should be one of the Wolverines' strengths this fall. An honorable mention All-Big Ten selection in 2009, Schilling has started 36 of his 37 career games at tackle or guard. ESPN's Mel Kiper ranks him as the No. 4 senior guard for the 2011 NFL draft.

Troy Woolfolk, CB: If Michigan's defense turns things around this fall, Woolfolk figures to play a major role. The converted safety has built up his confidence at the cornerback position and brings both experience and talent to the secondary. After a strong spring, Woolfolk will step into Warren's spot and cover the Big Ten's top receivers.


Coming ...

Cullen Christian, CB: Michigan has an obvious need in the secondary, and Christian should see the field this season, especially since Demar Dorsey isn't coming to Ann Arbor. Christian is an intelligent player with good size who can read quarterbacks and understands coverage schemes.

Will Hagerup, P/K: Graham and Warren are major losses, but Michigan really will miss All-American punter Zoltan Mesko this fall. The Wolverines also lose kicker Jason Olesnavage, so Hagerup will make a major impact in 2010. Like Mesko, Hagerup has excellent size (6-4, 210) and was heavily recruited coming out of high school. Michigan's specialists struggled this spring, so Rich Rodriguez will turn to Hagerup.

More revolving door ...

Ninth in a series examining key players departing, staying and arriving at Big Ten schools in 2010.

Going ...

Mike Kafka, QB: No quarterback in the Big Ten did more for his team than Kafka, who guided Northwestern to eight victories despite getting next to no help from the running game. A second-team All-Big Ten selection, Kafka led the league in passing (263.8 ypg), total offense (286.8 ypg) and completion percentage (64.8).

Sherrick McManis: CB: McManis was as valuable to the Wildcats' defense as Kafka was to the offense. When he stayed healthy and made big plays, Northwestern came away with wins. McManis earned first-team All-Big Ten honors from the media and led the league in both interceptions per game (.5) and passes defended per game (1.2).


Staying ...

Quentin Davie, LB: Davie boasts a ton of starting experience and playmaking ability, and will lead a Wildcats defense that loses several key parts from 2009. The senior has recorded 147 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks in the past two seasons, starting 24 of 26 games in that span. He has filled out nicely into his 6-foot-4 frame and will contend for all-conference honors this fall.

Drake Dunsmore, TE: The superback position hasn't been too super at Northwestern, but Dunsmore likely will change that this fall. He's the leading returning pass-catcher among Big Ten tight ends after recording 47 receptions in 2009. Dunsmore, who could be the team's top passing target this fall, comes off of a nine-catch, 120-yard performance in the Outback Bowl that included a spectacular 66-yard touchdown run.


Coming ...

Chance Carter, DE: Northwestern's defensive line loses mainstay Corey Wootton, and Carter might work his way into the rotation early in his career. He has the size and skills to be a hybrid type player for the Wildcats, who could use some versatility in their front seven.

Venric Mark, WR/KR/PR: The return game is an area where freshmen can make an immediate impact, and Mark has built his reputation on special teams. Northwestern has been rather pedestrian in its return game for quite some time, and Mark boasts the speed and quickness to provide a major boost this season. Special teams has cost Northwestern too many games over the years, and Mark could be a difference maker in a positive way.

More revolving door ...

The Revolving Door: Illinois

June, 15, 2010
6/15/10
10:00
AM ET
Eighth in a series examining key players departing, staying and arriving at Big Ten schools.

Going ...

Arrelious Benn, WR: He never reached the heights many thought he would after winning Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors in 2007, but Benn still led Illinois in receiving yards for three consecutive seasons. Illinois' inconsistent offense hurt Benn last season, but his obvious talent and presence on the perimeter will be missed as the Illini transition to a new system under coordinator Paul Petrino this fall.

Jon Asamoah, OG: Like Indiana's Rodger Saffold, Asamoah was one of the Big Ten's more underrated linemen, in large part because his team struggled. But Asamoah provided a veteran presence up front and had the combination of superior skill and intelligence. The NFL clearly liked what it saw in Asamoah, a third-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in April.


Staying ...

Martez Wilson, LB: Wilson's 2009 season never got on track as he missed all but one game with a herniated disk in his neck. He seemed to be settling in well as the team's middle linebacker last summer and has a chance in 2010 to have the breakout season many have been waiting for. Wilson has the size and the skills to be special, but he's got to get it done on the field.

Clay Nurse, DE: Nurse was a presence on the defensive line down the stretch last season, leading Illinois in sacks (5.5), tackles for loss (10.5) and quarterback hurries (3). He's got the personality and attitude to be a valuable leader along the front four this fall, as Illinois tries to improve a group that ranked last in the Big Ten in sacks (19) in 2009.


Coming ...

Chandler Whitmer, QB: Jacob Charest's post-spring departure puts Whitmer, a true freshman, in the backup role behind Nathan Scheelhaase. Good thing that Whitmer enrolled early and went through spring practice with Petrino and the other quarterbacks. He drew praise from the coaches and displays good maturity both on and off the field.

Earnest Thomas, S: The one-time UCLA commit could be a factor right away in a secondary that has some competition but few lock-down certainties. The 6-1, 195-pound Thomas was highly recruited coming out of Michigan and will help Illinois at a position (safety) that hasn't be secure since Justin Harrison and Kevin Mitchell departed following the 2008 Rose Bowl.

More revolving door ...

The Revolving Door: Minnesota

June, 10, 2010
6/10/10
3:30
PM ET
All the expansion news has prompted a drought in the Revolving Door series, but it returns today.

Here's my seventh installment of a series examining key players departing, staying and arriving at Big Ten schools.

Going ...

Eric Decker, WR: You could argue Decker was the entire Minnesota offense before he sustained a season-ending foot injury against Ohio State. Decker turned in some amazing performances in September, becoming Minnesota's all-time leader in both receptions and receiving yards. The Big Ten coaches showed Decker the ultimate sign of respect by voting Decker first-team all-conference even though he appeared in only eight games.

Lee Campbell, LB: All three of Minnesota's starting linebackers could qualify here, but Campbell gets the nod after an extremely productive senior season. The Floridian ranked third in the Big Ten in tackles with 119, led Minnesota with 11.5 tackles for loss and recorded two blocked kicks, an interception, two fumble recoveries and six passes defended.


Staying ...

Adam Weber, QB: Weber has more experience than any Big Ten signal caller and should benefit from the arrival of new offensive coordinator Jeff Horton and a simplified scheme. Yes, he struggled mightily in 2009, throwing two more interceptions (15) than touchdown passes, but he's only two years removed from earning second-team All-Big Ten honors. Don't forget Weber is still Minnesota's all-time passing leader.

Kyle Theret, S: Like Weber, Theret boasts a ton of experience as a starter and should lead a Gophers secondary that might need to replace three starters (depending on Kim Royston's availability). Theret led Minnesota with three interceptions and recorded 73 tackles and seven passes defended. He saved his best performance for the Insight Bowl, where he had two interceptions and made a 40-yard reception on a fake punt.


Coming ...

Jimmy Gjere, OT: It's no secret that Minnesota's offensive line must improve, and while Gjere is only a freshman, he could help right away this season. A heralded prospect from New Brighton, Minn., Gjere not only boasts good size but has length and good footwork. The Gophers ideally would like to redshirt him, but if they need him, he's available.

Christyn Lewis, DB: Given Minnesota's situation in the secondary, Lewis could see the field soon. The junior college transfer from Citrus College in California worked at safety and nickel back during spring ball. Depending on what happens with Royston -- or Theret, who was indefinitely suspended this spring -- Lewis might be a factor in 2010.

More revolving door ...
Sixth in a series examining key players departing, staying and arriving at Big Ten schools.

Going ...

Kurt Coleman, S: Coleman was the heart and soul of the nation's fifth-ranked defense in 2009, providing not only tremendous leadership in the secondary but tons of playmaking ability. He tied for the team lead with five interceptions and led Ohio State with three fumble recoveries to go along with 68 tackles. A co-captain, Coleman was Ohio State's only consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection last season.

Thaddeus Gibson, DE: Gibson opted to skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft, a decision that looked a bit questionable after he slipped to the fourth round. A rush end who will play outside linebacker at the next level, Gibson led Ohio State with 13 tackles for loss, including four sacks. He was a consensus second-team All-Big Ten selection.

Staying ...

Justin Boren, G: Boren brought the nasty back to Ohio State's offensive line in 2009, and expectations are even higher for the group this season after a strong finish. A first-team All-Big Ten selection by the media, Boren is a strong contender for Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year honors. He's not the most athletic lineman on the roster, but he sets an example with his play and his approach to the game.

Cameron Heyward, DT/DE: Ohio State had good reason to be thrilled when Heyward passed up NFL millions for another year in Columbus. He dominated games against USC and Penn State last year and is taking steps to be more consistent in 2010. Heyward led Ohio State with 6.5 sacks and creates headaches for every opposing offensive line coach in the Big Ten.

Coming ...

James Louis, WR: Ohio State boasts a nice 1-2 punch at wide receiver with DeVier Posey and Dane Sanzenbacher, but after that things get a little hazy. Wide receiver depth is one area that can certainly be upgraded, and Louis might be a solution. The Florida native brings top-end speed, makes defenders look silly and can go up and get the ball. If Taurian Washington, Chris Fields or Duron Carter don't fill the No. 3 receiver spot, look out for Louis.

Christian Bryant, DB: The secondary is one of the biggest question marks for Ohio State this fall, and Bryant could be a name to watch. He's a bit of a tweener, but might be able to fill a need at safety after the departures of Coleman and Anderson Russell.

More revolving door ...

The Revolving Door: Purdue

May, 26, 2010
5/26/10
11:00
AM ET
Fifth in a series examining key players departing, staying and arriving at Big Ten schools.

Going ...

Joey Elliott, QB: Elliott made the most of his only season as the Boilers' starter, putting up All-Big Ten caliber numbers on the field and displaying tremendous leadership off of it. He ranked second in the Big Ten in both passing yards (3,026) and touchdown passes (22), and he helped Purdue to a 4-4 record in league play after a hard-luck start.

Mike Neal, DT: The Big Ten had so many outstanding defensive linemen in 2009 that Neal seemed to get lost in the shuffle, but his contributions will be missed this fall. Boasting brute strength and strong run-stuffing skills, Neal ranked second on the team in sacks (5.5) and third in tackles for loss (11.5). The Green Bay Packers thought enough of Neal to select him in the second round of April's draft.


Staying ...

Keith Smith, WR: Smith became the latest Purdue wideout to top the Big Ten's receiving charts, leading the league with 1,100 receiving yards and tying for the league lead with 91 receptions. He had seven games of seven or more receptions and six 100-yard receiving performances. Smith aims for back-to-back All-Big Ten honors this season as Purdue's undisputed No. 1 wideout.

Ryan Kerrigan, DE: Other Big Ten defensive ends drew more national acclaim, but Kerrigan led the league and finished third nationally in sacks with 13. His performance in a win against Ohio State (3 sacks, 4 TFLs, 2 forced fumbles) will go down as one of the best in Purdue history, as he earned National Defensive Player of the Week honors. Kerrigan certainly will be on opponents' radar this fall.


Coming ...

Robert Marve, QB: The Miami transfer made a strong impression this spring and appears to have the inside track to the starting job in 2010. Marve's ability has never been in question, but his coaches and teammates have seen him mature in his time away from the spotlight. If Marve continues his evolution this summer and into the fall, Purdue could be very dangerous on offense.

O.J. Ross, WR: Purdue isn't exactly strapped for wide receivers, but Ross is a guy who could see the field early in his career. He's undersized at 5-10 and 175 pounds but brings tremendous speed and quickness to the field. Ross fits the mold of former Purdue standouts Dorien Bryant and Vinny Sutherland, receivers overcame their lack of size to put up monster numbers.

More revolving door ...

The Revolving Door: Indiana

May, 24, 2010
5/24/10
9:00
AM ET
Third in a series examining key players departing, staying and arriving at Big Ten schools.

Going ...

Rodger Saffold, LT: He didn't get a ton of pub during his college career, but Saffold showed everyone what they missed during predraft workouts. The second-team All-Big Ten selection soared up the draft boards and was the second Big Ten offensive lineman to hear his name called, as St. Louis selected him with the first pick of the second round. Saffold protected Ben Chappell's blind side as Indiana ranked second in the league in fewest sacks allowed (16).

Matt Mayberry, LB: Defensive ends Jammie Kirlew and Greg Middleton had value as well, but Mayberry was the heart and soul of Indiana's defense the last two years. He led the team with 108 tackles and ranked second on the squad in tackles for loss (11), sacks (5.5) and interceptions (3). Mayberry started the final 24 games of his career and finished with 251 tackles.


Staying ...

Tandon Doss, WR: If you're in a college football fantasy league and want to beat your buddies, pick Doss if he's available. He quietly earned first-team All-Big Ten honors after recording 77 receptions for 962 yards and five touchdowns, ranking second in the league in receiving yards. This guy has legit NFL potential, and he could produce some big numbers this fall.

Ben Chappell, QB: Chappell finished third in the league in passing average last fall (245.1 ypg), and if he can cut down on his interceptions, he should have a monster senior season. He's no stranger to the spotlight and will have one of the Big Ten's best group of wide receivers and tight ends at his disposal this fall.


Coming ...

Jeff Thomas, LB: The junior college transfer should play a significant role this fall as Indiana transitions to the 3-4 defensive alignment. Thomas was on campus this spring and likely will back up Tyler Replogle this season. He boasts good size at 6-foot-1 and 249 pounds, and he earned first-team All-American honors for Foothill Junior College last fall. Thomas recorded four tackles in the spring game.

Andre Kates, CB: After some wavering before signing day, Kates pledged to Indiana and provided a major jolt for the Hoosiers' recruiting class. The junior college transfer not only fills a glaring need in the secondary, but he brings a strong skill set to the defensive backfield. A one-time Florida commit who had to get his grades right at ASA College in Brooklyn, N.Y., Kates should make an immediate impact this fall.

More revolving door ...

Third in a series examining key players departing, staying and arriving at Big Ten schools.

Going ...

Daryll Clark, QB: Clark earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in each of his two seasons as Penn State's starting quarterback. He set several team passing records, including career touchdown passes (43) and single-season passing yards (3,003). Clark won Big Ten co-MVP honors in 2009 and finished with a 22-4 record as Penn State's starter.

Jared Odrick, DT: In a conference filled with outstanding linemen, Odrick might have been the most disruptive. He earned Big Ten co-Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2009 after leading Penn State in sacks (7) and ranking second in tackles for loss (11). Odrick commanded consistent double teams and helped Penn State rank sixth nationally in rush defense (89.9 ypg).


Staying ...

Evan Royster, RB: Many folks thought Royster would enter the NFL draft after recording his second consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season. His return provides a huge lift for a Penn State offense that should be better up front but will turn to an inexperienced quarterback. Royster has averaged 6.1 yards a carry during his career and needs 481 yards to become Penn State's all-time rushing leader.

Stefen Wisniewski, G: A consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection at center in 2009, Wisniewski moved back to his natural position of guard this spring and is primed for a big senior season. He has lived up to the hype from his family lineage, and will be a prime contender for Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year honors this fall.


Coming ...

Khairi Fortt, LB: Penn State loses all three starting linebackers from 2009 and needs to build depth there. Fortt, ranked by ESPN recruiting as the nation's No. 2 inside linebacker, enrolled early and has all the physical tools to contribute early in his career. He's one of several incoming freshman defenders -- Dakota Royer, Mike Hull -- who could play right away for Penn State.

Paul Jones, QB: Jones tossed two touchdown passes in the Blue-White Game to put himself in the mix for Penn State's starting quarterback spot. Lions head coach Joe Paterno doesn't like playing freshmen, especially at the quarterback spot, but Jones likely won't back down as he competes with Kevin Newsome and Matt McGloin.

More revolving door ...

The Wisconsin Badgers are up next on the revolving door series.

Going ...

O'Brien Schofield, DE: A prototypical speed rush end, Schofield made his mark on virtually every game last fall and was could not be blocked at times. He finished second nationally in tackles for loss (24.5), and recorded two or more in nine contests. Schofield also finished second in the Big Ten in sacks with 12.

Chris Maragos, S: Maragos could end up being the biggest loss for Wisconsin's defense because of the position he plays and the leadership he provided. He led the Badgers with four interceptions and recorded a forced fumble, a sack and 49 tackles. The team captain leaves a leadership void that Jay Valai and Aaron Henry will try to fill.


Staying ...

John Clay, RB: The 2009 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year is only a junior, and he'll try to take another step after leading the league with 1,517 rushing yards last fall. Clay expects to be more durable following offseason ankle surgeries, and he'll be running behind a veteran offensive line in 2010. He recorded nine 100-yard rushing performances last season.

J.J. Watt, DE: Schofield will be missed, but Wisconsin might have the perfect replacement in Watt, who is primed for a breakout season. Watt quietly recorded 15.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, five passes defended, four quarterback hurries and two fumble recoveries in 2009. He should shine in a featured role this fall.


Coming ...

Frank Tamakloe, S: Secondary depth is a bit of an issue for the Badgers, and Tamakloe is a decorated prospect with good size and speed. Wisconsin needs some insurance behind Valai and Henry, and Tamakloe might be a good option.

Manasseh Garner, TE/WR: Wisconsin doesn't have a lot of holes on offense, but Garner's versatility could help him get on the field early. The Badgers need some complementary options for wideout Nick Toon and tight end Lance Kendricks, and the 6-2, 205-pound Garner could be a factor.

More revolving door ...
Poaching another idea today, this time from colleague David Ubben at the Big 12 blog. I'll be taking a look at several key players going, staying and coming into the program for each Big Ten team.

First up, Michigan State.

Going ...

Joel Nitchman, C: Nitchman helped anchor the offensive line last year and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors from the league's coaches. He started three seasons for the Spartans and made 31 starts at center. John Stipek impressed the Michigan State staff this spring, he'll have some big shoes to fill.

Trevor Anderson, DE: Although Anderson never quite lived up to the hype he had after transferring from Cincinnati, he still recorded 7.5 tackles for loss and four sacks last season. Anderson earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors in each of his two seasons as a Spartan. He also provided solid leadership in the locker room.


Staying ...

Greg Jones, LB: Jones' decision to return to Michigan State was one of few bright spots in a rough offseason for the program. Put simply, he's one of the nation's best and most accomplished defenders, and he should be even better as a senior. Jones has led Michigan State in tackles in each of his three seasons, recording 154 stops in 2009. He has added weight and looks considerably stronger, but he hasn't lost any speed and still closes extremely well on ball-carriers.

Keshawn Martin, WR: Martin gave the Big Ten a taste of what he could do on special teams last season. He'll make an even bigger impact as a receiver this fall and got a head start with six receptions for 109 yards in the spring game. Martin averaged 22.8 yards per reception last year and has the ability to go the distance any time he touches the ball.


Coming ...

William Gholston, LB: Gholston was the Big Ten's second-highest rated prospect, according to ESPN recruiting, and should make an immediate impact this fall. The ESPNU 150 selection checks in at 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds, but Michigan State fully intends to keep him as a linebacker. Gholston and classmate Max Bullough are part of the reason why Michigan State will use more of the 3-4 alignment this fall.

Isaiah Lewis and Kurtis Drummond,S : It's no secret that Michigan State struggled against the pass in 2009, and the secondary needs all the help it can get this fall. Both Lewis and Drummond both bring some exciting skills to the table and could compete for playing time right away if returning players don't step up.

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