Big Ten: Walter Camp Award

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

The Big Ten likely will remain a defense-oriented league this fall, but the three players named to the Walter Camp Award preseason watch list all play on the offensive side.

Penn State's starting backfield of quarterback Daryll Clark and running back Evan Royster both made the list, along with Illinois star wide receiver Arrelious Benn. The Walter Camp Award is presented to the national player of the year, and will be announced Dec. 10 on ESPN.

Clark earned first-team All-Big Ten honors last year after leading Penn State to a share of the league title and a berth in the Rose Bowl. Royster, a candidate for the Doak Walker Award, is the Big Ten's leading returning rusher after racking up 1,236 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2008. Benn, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2007, finished second in the league in receiving yards (1,055) and third in receptions (67) last season.

Former Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith was the last Big Ten player to win the Walter Camp Award, taking home the hardware in 2006.

I was a little surprised not to see Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker or one of the Big Ten's standout linebackers -- Navorro Bowman, Greg Jones, Pat Angerer -- not on the list, which includes most of the usual suspects.

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

The Walter Camp Award watch list is out, and seven Big Ten players are included on the list of 35.

Here's the rundown:

Travis Beckum, Sr., TE, Wisconsin

Arrelious Benn, So., WR, Illinois

P.J. Hill, Jr., RB, Wisconsin

Malcolm Jenkins, Sr., CB, Ohio State

James Laurinaitis, Sr., LB, Ohio State

Javon Ringer, Sr., RB, Michigan State

Chris "Beanie" Wells, Jr., RB, Ohio State

No surprising names here, though every other BCS conference has a quarterback representative. The Walter Camp Football Foundation could have included Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter, who could break several Big Ten passing records this fall. Ohio State's Todd Boeckman doesn't have a huge wow factor but could change that this fall. Indiana's Kellen Lewis is fighting for his starting job after being suspended this spring, and Illinois' Juice Williams still gets knocked for his passing.

Laurinaitis is the only two-time first-team Walter Camp All-American on the list, while Beckum earned first-team honors last season.

Only three defensive linemen made the list -- Auburn's Sen'Derrick Marks, Oregon's Nick Reed and South Florida's George Selvie -- so national sacks leader Greg Middleton from Indiana evidently needs another strong season to generate more hype.



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