Sports Illustrated released its annual preseason All-American teams today, and a few names from the Big Ten showed up on the first and second teams.
It will come as no surprise to any college football fan how loaded the list was with SEC talent, including Alabama players, but the Big Ten managed to have seven guys crack this list for the 2013 season.
This was an improvement from Sports Illustrated’s 2012 All-American list, which only saw two players from the Big Ten on the first and second teams.
This season, the first team features three Big Ten players on this list. The list started off with offensive tackle Taylor Lewan of Michigan. Lewan was a first team All-American last season as well and many thought he would make the jump to the NFL, where he would have been a certain top-five pick, but he instead chose to return to Michigan for his senior year.
The other two players are a pair of Ohio State Buckeyes, Bradley Roby and Ryan Shazier, who were both honorable mention All-Americans in 2012. Roby and Shazier both will be among the best defenders in the Big Ten as well as the country and both have NFL scouts drooling over their talents.
The second team featured the other four Big Ten players, starting with Nebraska Cornhuskers offense guard Spencer Long. Long was a second team All-American in 2012 and would be the best lineman in the conference if not for Lewan.
Linebackers Max Bullough of Michigan State and Chris Borland of Wisconsin both made the list and are two of the best linebackers in football. Both have had outstanding careers in the Big Ten, are senior leaders and captains of their team, and overall great team players.
The final player on the list was Northwestern kicker Jeff Budzien. Budzien was co-kicker of the year in the Big Ten last season and a first team All-Big Ten selection.