Big Ten: media days

Big Ten media days are the unofficial start to the 2010 season, and they're rapidly approaching.

The league today announced the 33 players who will be attending the media sessions, held Aug. 2-3 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago (new location this year). They will join all 11 Big Ten head coaches.

My thoughts in a bit, but first the roster of attendees:

ILLINOIS
  • Eddie McGee, WR, Sr.
  • Clay Nurse, DE, Sr.
  • Tavon Wilson, CB, Jr.
INDIANA
IOWA
  • Adrian Clayborn, DE, Sr.
  • Karl Klug, DT, Sr.
  • Ricky Stanzi, QB, Sr.
MICHIGAN
  • Mark Moundros, FB, Sr.
  • Stephen Schilling, G, Sr.
  • Troy Woolfolk, CB, Sr.
MICHIGAN STATE
MINNESOTA
  • Brandon Kirksey, DT, Jr.
  • Kim Royston, S, Sr.
  • Adam Weber, QB, Sr.
NORTHWESTERN
  • Corbin Bryant, DT, Sr.
  • Quentin Davie, LB, Sr.
  • Dan Persa, QB, Jr.
OHIO STATE
PENN STATE
  • D'Anton Lynn, CB, Jr.
  • Evan Royster, RB, Sr.
  • Stefen Wisniewski, G, Sr.
PURDUE
WISCONSIN
Nuggets: Purdue's Smith will speak on behalf of the players at the Big Ten kickoff luncheon on Aug. 3. ... The list of attendees includes 25 seniors, eight juniors and no sophomores. ... It features last year's Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in Clay, as well as the league's co-Defensive Player of the Year in Jones. ... There are 19 former All-Big Ten players on the roster, including seven first-team selections from 2009.

My quick thoughts:
  • A very good group overall, as most of the league's key players will be in attendance. The big absence is Ohio State starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor, although his omission won't surprise anyone who has covered the Buckeyes. Yes, yes, I know head coach Jim Tressel brings seniors or captains to Big Ten media days every year, so spare me the e-mails. But we're talking about a two-year starting quarterback and the reigning Rose Bowl MVP. Ohio State's continued sheltering of Pryor is not shocking, but disappointing. It's time we heard more from a guy who has led the offense onto the field for the better part of the past two seasons. Pryor has to be the most talked-about and least talked-to player in recent college football history.
  • While Ohio State keeps its quarterback under wraps, other teams continue to expose their new signal-callers. Northwestern and Purdue both are bringing first-year starting quarterbacks to media days in Persa and Marve. Minnesota's Weber is no stranger to the media spotlight, but he made the list after winning the team's quarterback competition this spring. This is a good way for teams to acknowledge their leaders. Illinois is the only team besides Ohio State not bringing its starting quarterback, which is understandable since Nathan Scheelhaase is a redshirt freshman. The Illini are bringing a former quarterback in McGee. Penn State and Michigan aren't bringing quarterbacks because neither team knows its starter.
  • Royston's inclusion is potentially a great sign for Minnesota, which would love to have the safety on the field for the start of the season. Royston suffered a broken leg in spring ball but has been making good progress throughout the summer. It'll also be interesting for him to be in the same room as his former Wisconsin teammates.
  • Interesting to see that Michigan State is bringing both its current starting quarterback in Cousins as well as Nichol, who competed alongside Cousins last season before moving to wide receiver, where he projects as a starter. Nichol is an interesting choice -- linebacker Eric Gordon and guard Joel Foreman would have been good, too -- and I look forward to visiting with him.
  • On behalf of the Big Ten media corps, I'd like to thank Wisconsin for bringing Valai, one of the best personalities in college football. Jay will be happy to know I've bulked up since our last visit (or not), and I'm sure he'll have some memorable lines in Chicago. Other very quotable players include Illinois' Nurse, Indiana's Chappell, Michigan's Woolfolk, Michigan State's Cousins, Northwestern's Bryant, Ohio State's Heyward, Penn State's Wisniewski and Purdue's Smith. All three Iowa players are good choices, but if they could sneak in Derrell Johnson-Koulianos to the Hyatt, I'd be in heaven.

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