Big Ten announces preseason watch list


CHICAGO -- The results are in for the fifth annual Big Ten preseason watch list, which lists the top five players from each division, and seven teams are represented in the media poll.

Michigan State, Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin led the way with two selections apiece. The 11 players who made the list:


QB Connor Cook, Michigan State

DE Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State

DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State

RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State

DT Anthony Zettel, Penn State


DE Drew Ott, Iowa

DT Maliek Collins, Nebraska

WR De'Mornay Pierson-El, Nebraska

RB Justin Jackson, Northwestern

S Michael Caputo, Wisconsin

RB Corey Clement, Wisconsin

The biggest surprise here? Out of the best quarterback class in at least the last 20 years, the Big Ten chose just one signal-caller for its watch list (Cook). Among the notably absent are Ohio State's Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett, and Penn State's Christian Hackenberg.

That said, the East was limited to just five picks -- there was a tie in the West, which is why it got six -- so it wasn't an easy exercise to pick the top five. Bosa, Zettel and Elliott are all first-team preseason All-America picks, and Calhoun and Cook have made their fair share of appearances on the second teams or below.

Over in the West, Minnesota was shut out despite having arguably the strongest secondary in the conference. Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Eric Murray aren't on the preseason list, but chances are they'll make a play for the end-of-season All-Big Ten squad.