Big Ten: IMG
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- My Big Ten tour continues Tuesday at Michigan State, which begins its media day around 8 a.m. ET. Offensive players and coaches are up first, followed by defensive players and coaches. Head coach Mark Dantonio meets the media at 11:30 a.m. ET, and I'll head to watch the first portion of practice this afternoon.
For the e-mailers ragging me for flooding the blog with Michigan material Monday, this is how it's going to work. When I'm at a particular school, that school's team will be featured throughout the day. I'll try not to neglect what's going on around the league, but one team will take precedence. The good thing is I'm going to visit almost every Big Ten school before the season, so if you're wondering when Ohio State or Penn State get top billing, just be patient.
It was a busy Monday around the Big Ten as 10 teams opened practice. Here's a look at each one:
- Rashard Mendenhall was arguably the Big Ten's most valuable player last season, but Illinois thinks it can fill the void, Dave Curtis writes in The Sporting News.
- The Champaign News-Gazette's Web site [IlliniHQ.com] is finally free, and Bob Asmussen looks at five questions to monitor at Camp Rantoul.
- Cornerback Vontae Davis has NFL scouts drooling, Lindsey Willhite writes in the Daily Herald.
- Travon Bellamy and Chris Duvalt are in the mix for starting spots at safety and wide receiver, Stu Durando writes in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
- Quarterback Kellen Lewis returned to the practice field and hopes to redeem himself after a suspension this spring. "I want to show that I've become a better individual and will stop making selfish decisions, which is what got me into this in the first place," Lewis said.
- Lewis wasn't alone on Monday, as eight quarterbacks took snaps for the Hoosiers. Also, Florida transfer Jerimy Finch is still awaiting clearance before he can practice with Indiana, The Indianapolis Star's Terry Hutchens writes in his blog.
- The Bloomington Herald-Times' Doug Wilson has some notes from Indiana's first practice.
- Coach Kirk Ferentz tried to keep the focus on football at the team's media day.
- No surprise here, but Iowa's running back job remains wide open as Shonn Greene returns from junior college. The coaching staff is high on Greene, but walk-on Paki O'Meara will push him.
- Quarterback Jake Christensen enters camp as the starter and has the chance to further distance himself as his primary contender, Ricky Stanzi, recovers from a shoulder injury.
- Iowa's road to redemption starts with the offensive line, Sean Keeler writes in the Des Moines Register.
- Michigan's media rights belong to IMG, which paid $86 million in a 12-year deal, John Ourand writes in Sports Business Journal. IMG already owns Michigan's radio rights but will pick up corporate sponsorships and coaches' endorsements.
- Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones has bulked up during the summer, the Lansing State Journal's Joe Rexrode writes in his blog.
- The team on the field isn't the only thing looking glossy at Michigan State. The football team's new headquarters is getting rave reviews, Steve Grinczel writes.
- Former Kansas City Chiefs star center Jack Rudnay, a Northwestern alum, addressed the team on the first day of practice.
- Heralded freshman quarterback Terrelle Pryor took the practice field without a no-contact jersey Monday. But it didn't stay that way for long, Tim May writes in the Columbus Dispatch.
- Ohio State tries to get back to its roots on special teams, Ken Gordon writes in the Columbus Dispatch.
- Jim Tressel didn't say much about the status of defensive tackle Doug Worthington or cornerback Donald Washington, but he did make a key position change Monday, moving Curtis Terry from linebacker to first-team fullback, Doug Lesmerises writes in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- Who will win Penn State's quarterback job? Who steps up at defensive tackle after the dismissals of Phil Taylor and Chris Baker? The Philadelphia Enquirer's Jeff McLane takes a look.
- Mark Wogenrich of The (Allentown) Morning Call weighs in on what to watch in Penn State's camp.
- Reserve running back Lance Smith has run out of chances at Wisconsin after his latest slip-up. He remains eligible and will look to play elsewhere, but his Badgers' career is over. Coach Bret Bielema really had little choice here after sticking his neck out for Smith last summer. The Badgers still have enough depth at running back, though an injury to P.J. Hill or Zach Brown could raise the anxiety level.
- The Capital Times' Jim Polzin breaks down the first day of practice. Junior cornerback Josh Nettles and two incoming freshmen aren't on the roster,