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Top 5 Big Ten Safeties For 2013

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Top 5 Big Ten Safeties for 2013

Isaiah Lewis
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the 2013 Big Ten football season, the conference will feature some of the premier safeties in the entire country when the 12 teams take the field in the fall.

The overall secondary is loaded for the Big Ten conference in 2013, featuring a host of players who have loads of experience under their belts and players who have participated in some of the biggest games.

Many teams around the conference are featuring two top-level safeties in their defensive backfield, which isn’t very common. Teams like Indiana, Michigan State, and Ohio State all return safeties who have been leaders on their teams for multiple seasons.

The Big Ten has always been a conference that is very defensive oriented, and this year is no exception to powerful, national championship caliber defenses.

Over the past decade, NFL stars like Bob Sanders and Jim Leonhard have been dominant safeties in the Big Ten and had great college careers.

This year, there will be many players also looking to establish a legacy about their name and also go on to have solid professional careers.

There are also many young and upcoming safeties throughout the conference whom Big Ten coaches have been able to recruit. Many of them will try and earn playing time and hopefully go on to one day be starters.

By the end of the season, there are as many as three players in the Big Ten who have All-American type potential for the 2013 season as well as two to three guys who could hear their name called in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft.

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5. Greg Heban, Indiana Hoosiers

Greg Heban
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

A two year starter for the Hoosiers, Heban has quietly been one of the best defensive backs in the Big Ten during his time at Indiana. An honorable mention All-Big Ten selection in 2012, he is a captain for the Hoosiers and should be the leader of their young and inexperienced defense in 2013.

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4. Ibraheim Campbell, Northwestern Wildcats

Ibraheim Campbell
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Campbell is a tackling machine for the Wildcats secondary under head coach Pat Fitzgerald. During the 2011 season, he was a freshman All-American and led Northwestern in tackles. During the 2012 season, he was an honorable mention All-Big Ten player and one of the most productive players on the defense.

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3. C.J. Barnett, Ohio State Buckeyes

C.J. Barnett
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Barnett will return to the Buckeyes secondary as one of the most experienced players on their entire roster. A fifth year senior, Barnett was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection in 2012 and a second team All-Big Ten selection in 2011. He returns to a menacing Buckeye secondary and should be a leader for the team this season.

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2. Christian Bryant, Ohio State Buckeyes

Christian Bryant
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Bryant is the other safety from the Buckeyes on this list and is also one of the most experienced players on the Buckeye roster returning. A second team All-Big Ten selection in 2012, Bryant has put up solid production for the Buckeyes during his entire career at Ohio State. He is one of the hardest hitting safeties in the country and is a major NFL prospect.

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1. Isaiah Lewis, Michigan State Spartans

Isaiah Lewis
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

2013 will be the third straight season Isaiah Lewis has been the strong safety for Michigan State. He has had a great career as a Spartan, earning freshman All-American honors in 2010, second team All-Big Ten in 2011, and honorable mention All-Big Ten last season. He is an absolute wrecking ball from the safety position and is also a very vocal leader. The energy Lewis brings to the Spartan defense is one of the main reasons they are amongst the best in the country on the defensive side of the ball.