Top 5 Big Ten Return Men for 2013
Top Big Ten Return Men for 2013
When it comes to the game of football, there isn’t a play that can have a bigger effect on the outcome of a game than a kick return for a touchdown. It is one of the most electrifying plays in all of sports, and can help bring a team back into the game and deflate the opponent.
With kick returns being such an impact type of play, there has been a premium put on finding outstanding kick returners in the game of football. Many guys have made a name for themselves from being able to make something happen almost every time they touch the ball on a return.
This season in the Big Ten might feature some of the best return players that the conference has ever seen, and that is saying something. Usually a conference features one guy who is known as the “threat” in the return game, but the Big Ten might have as many as three guys who could carry that title in 2013.
The Big Ten isn’t short on great returners in the history of the conference. Players like Tim Dwight, Desmond Howard, Charles Woodson and Ted Ginn Jr. are just a select few who had outstanding return abilities. Howard and Woodson both had their most memorable plays of their college careers by having a big return.
It will be another great season for the Big Ten with special teams, like it is year in and year out. The conference and its teams have always put a heavy emphasis on the special teams game and it has shown. Look for the Big Ten to have an All-American return player this year as well.
5. Tevin Coleman, Indiana Hoosiers
Coleman was the Hoosiers’ kick returner as a freshman last season and was one of the best freshman returners in the country. He averaged 23.6 yards per return on the season and had 24 kick returns for 566 yards and a touchdown. He should continue to grow as a returner and is a very dynamic player.
4. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska Cornhuskers
Nebraska’s "Mr. Everything" last season handled both the kick return and punt return duties for the Cornhuskers, while also being the main running back most of the season. On kick returns, he averaged 21.2 yards per return and on punts averaged 13.1. He was a second team All-Big Ten selection as a return man.
3. Dennis Norfleet, Michigan Wolverines
The conference’s other outstanding freshman return man, Norfleet, was quite the surprise for the Michigan Wolverines last season. Although not the biggest player, Norfleet can get by you in a flash. He average 23.6 yards per returns on kickoffs and had 827 total yards. He also had two punt returns which he averaged 26.5 yards per return on. Look for him to finally break a couple for touchdowns in 2013.
2. Jordan Cotton, Iowa Hawkeyes
Cotton was one of the lone bright spots on the Iowa Hawkeyes in 2012 with his outstanding kick return abilities. He was named a first team All-Big Ten kick returner after averaging 28.2 yards per return with 536 yards returning and had a 92-yard kick return against Penn State. Cotton will enter his senior year looking to provide even more of a spark to the Hawkeyes.
1. Venric Mark, Northwestern Wildcats
Venric Mark might be the best overall return man in college football going into 2013. In 2012, he was not only a first team All-Big Ten punt returner, but was also named first team All-American. He averaged 18.7 yards per punt return for 280 yards total and two returns for touchdowns. In kick returns, he averaged 19.8 yards per return. Mark will enter 2013 as the premier return man in college and look for him to get a couple more touchdowns under his belt.