Top 10 Big Ten Freshmen In 2013
Top 10 Big Ten Freshmen In 2013
The Big Ten was a conference flush with parity in 2013. Once considered one of the premier college football conferences in the Nation, the Big Ten has been outmatched in many categories in recent history. The SEC is competing for a National Championship annually, and the Big Ten is desperately scratching at the door, trying to once again reach the summit of college football glory. The Big Ten has not only fallen short of National Championships, but they have also struggled to keep pace with rival conferences in other areas. The Pac 12 has joined the SEC in annually possessing the premier recruiting classes. The Big Ten like feels they are still a very relevant conference in college football, and many hoped this would be their year to make an impact nationally.
With returning stars at the quarterback position like Nebraska Cornhuskers' Taylor Martinez, Ohio State Buckeyes' Braxton Miller and Michigan Wolverines' Devin Garnder, many believed the Big Ten would be very well recognized this season. An injury to Martinez sidelined him for almost all of his senior campaign. Miller was injured early in the season, with the ailment perhaps being the deciding factor preventing him from representing the Big Ten in the Heisman race. Gardner and his Wolverines suffered through some tough losses, and early season turnover problems that kept them out of national conversations for the majority of the season.
Unfortunately, this was not the season for the Big Ten to regain national prominence. Not every team features a lot of underclassman in prominent roles. It is easily understood that the more successful programs may not have the need to rush younger athletes into contributing roles before given the opportunity to develop. Teams like the Ohio State Buckeyes may not have had as many freshman in recognizable roles this year. Here is a look at some of the young men who will see an increased role for their programs next season.
10. RB Corey Clement, Wisconsin
Clement had a great start to his career in 2013. He has all of the tools to be the next great running back from Wisconsin. He will undoubtedly find success running behind a powerful Badgers offensive line.
9. DE Joey Bosa, Ohio State
This true freshman will be asked to help shore up a defense for the Buckeyes that was not quite up to pace with its offense. The Buckeyes will be losing key players like Ryan Shazier. Hopefully Bosa can be a leader on the defensive line in 2014.
8. DB Sojourn Shelton, Wisconsin
This true freshman was a nice addition to the Wisconsin secondary in 2013. The Badgers should expect big things from Shelton in the future. Coach Gary Anderson will need good defensive backs in his new 3-4 scheme.
7. DB Desmond King, Iowa
The Iowa Hawkeyes turned around their 4-8 season from a year ago, finishing this year at 8-4. The big reason for the turnaround can be attributed to the play of their defense. King will be a big part of an improving Hawkeyes defense.
6. DB Matthew Harris, Northwestern
Matthew Harris was an effective DB at Northwestern in 2013, and the team will be looking for him to potentially grow into a bigger role next season.
5. DB Tyvis Powell, Ohio State
The Buckeyes will need to replace Bradley Roby as he has decided to enter the NFL draft at the end of this season. Powell will be among a group of individuals looking to fill the shoes of the speedy defensive back.
4. RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
The Buckeyes offense is going to continue to develop and become multifaceted under Urban Meyer. Young running back Ezekiel Elliott could prove to be a dependable back for the Buckeyes.
3. CB Darius Mosely, Illinois
The Illinois Fighting Illini had a very good offense this season. Their defense may not have received as many accolades, but young Mosely is a strong point for their defense and is a player to watch in the future.
2. LB Ifeadi Odenigbo, Northwestern
The Northwestern Wildcats are coached by a former standout defensive player in Pat Fitzgerald. Obenigbo would be well-advised to pay attention to his coach as he has all of the tools to become a great football player.
1. WB Dontre Wilson, Ohio State
Another versatile ball carrier for Meyer and the Buckeyes offense, Wilson has huge upside. If he works hard, he could carve out an effective role in Meyer’s offense.