QB: JT Barrett- Ohio State: Freshman (6-1, 225) Wichita Falls, Texas. This season’s surprise player of the year. Buckeye Quarterback Braxton Miller went down to injury right before the season started and Barrett had to step up. It took him a few games to get going, but get going he did and he was impressive. Barrett completed 203 passes out of 314 attempts for 2,834 yards and 34 Touchdowns. Barrett also ran for 938 yards and 11 more Touchdowns. By the end of the season, people were thinking that Barrett was every bit as good as Braxton Miller.
QB: Connor Cook- Michigan State: Junior (6-4,220) Hinckley, Ohio. Michigan State is becoming something of a NFL Quarterback producer of late. Recently, it was Michigan but it has shifted. Cook Cook had an excellent sophomore year in 2013, but showed some more development in 2014. He threw for 2,900 yards and 22 Touchdowns this season on 188 out of 323 passing. Cook will never be mixed up with Cam Newton running the ball, but he is mobile enough and he has a really strong arm. Cook has said he will return for his senior season and I hope he does.
RB: Melvin Gordon – Wisconsin: Junior (6-1, 215) Kenosha, Wisconsin. Melvin Gordon had an amazing season in 2014 to the surprise of absolutely nobody that follows the game. Gordon split time in the backfield for Wisconsin last year but showed great explosiveness in averaging 8 yards per
carry. Gordon finished this regular season with the 4th best rushing yardage season in the history of college football, only behind the amazing Barry Sanders, Kevin Smith and Marcus Allen. On 309 rushing attempts, Gordon ran for 2,336 yards and 26 Touchdowns. Gordon was thought of as not a threat coming out of the backfield as a receiver, but proved skeptics wrong by catching 17 balls for 151 yards and 3 more Touchdowns. Gordon has announced he is leaving for the NFL and will be missed in the college football world.
RB: Tevin Coleman – Indiana: Junior (6-1, 210) Tinley Park, Illinois. Coleman followed right behind Gordon in rushing for over 2,000 yards making him the 18th guy in the history of college football to surpass that mark. Coleman ran for 2,036 yards on 270 attempts and 15 Touchdowns. The really impressive thing about Coleman is that Indiana had nothing else to take any pressure off of him this season. Coleman is a strong and sturdy back with excellent speed and without a doubt heading to the NFL.
RB: David Cobb – Minnesota: Senior (5-11, 220) Killeen, Texas. The senior from Texas had big junior and senior seasons. In 2014 he rushed for 1,548 yards on 294 carries and 13 Touchdowns. Hopefully, Cobb returns for his senior season.
RB: Jeremy Langford- Michigan State: Senior (6-1, 210) Wayne, Michigan. Langford has been a star player for the Spartans the last 2 seasons and has rushed for 2,782 yards the last 2 seasons. This past year, Langford ran for 1,360 yards and 19 Touchdowns. Tough inside runner that can take it the distance and he will be missed by the Spartans next season.
WR: Devin Funchess – Michigan: Junior (6-5, 230) Farmington Hills, Michigan. Not a good year to be a Wolverine, but Funchess can play. He’s already said that he will leave for the NFL and it will be interesting to see how he tests at the combine. Supposedly, he runs a 4.4 40. Funchess caught 62 passes for 733 yards and 4 Touchdowns and is a tough assignment for a Defensive Back because of his size.
WR: Tony Lippett- Michigan State: Senior (6-3, 185) Detroit, Michigan. The Spartans will miss Lippett and Langford a lot next season. Lippett has been a steady and dependable receiver for Michigan State the last 3 years. He capped off his regular season with 60 catches which were good for 1,124 yards and 11 Touchdowns. Lippett also had one carry for 32 yards and another Touchdown.
WR: DaeSean Hamilton – Penn State: Freshman (6-1, 205) Fredericksburg, Virginia. Hamilton had a spectacular freshman season for the Nittany Lions hauling in an amazing 75 receptions for 848 yards. Strangely, he only scored 1 Touchdown which has to be some kind of record. Still, it’s hard to take away from a 75 reception season. The future at Wide Receiver for the Nittany Lions lies on Hamilton’s shoulders.
WR: Mike Dudek – Illinois: Freshman (5-11, 185) Naperville, Illinois. Another outstanding freshman in the Big 10, Dudek caught 69 passes for 965 yards and 6 Touchdowns. He proved to be versatile throwing 1 pass and completing it for 22 yards. Far from highly recruited out of high school, Dudek was one of the nice surprises for 2014.
TE: Jake Duzey – Iowa: Junior (6-4, 245) Troy, Michigan. Top pass catching Tight End in the Big 10 and has surprising speed. In 2013, he had an 85 yard Touchdown reception against the Buckeyes. This season, Duzey had 36 receptions for 392 yards and 3 Touchdowns. The Tight is becoming more of a forgotten position in today’s college game.
TE: Jesse James – Penn State: Junior (6-7, 255) Glassport, Pennsylvania. James is a huge Tight End that will be very sought after by NFL teams when he decides to leave State College. He’s got the size to be an ideal NFL Tight End. James caught 35 balls for 369 yards and 3 Touchdowns.
OT: Brandon Scherff – Iowa: Senior (6-5, 320) Denison, Iowa. Scherff is probably the best Offensive Lineman in the country. He is big and fast and a devastating blocker in both the run and the pass. He should be the first Offensive Tackle taken in the 2015 NFL draft, or at least in the top 3. He just won the Outland Trophy as the nation’s best lineman and I won’t argue that. He played Offensive Guard before moving to Left Tackle.
OT: Rob Havenstein – Wisconsin: Senior (6-8, 335) Mount Airy, Maryland. Havenstein is a multi-year starter at Right Tackle for the Badgers. I feel like he should have been moved to Left Tackle at some point, but was not. Badgers, in spite of Melvin Gordon’s year, sort of had some issues up front for 2014. Havenstein is not going to win any foot races, but he is massive.
OT: Taylor Decker – Ohio State: Junior (6-7, 315) Vandalia, Ohio. Decker started at Right Tackle his first 2 seasons as a starter in Columbus. This past season, Decker was the only returning starter for the Buckeyes Offensive Line and even he moved from the right side to the left side with the idea of getting their best player to protect the Quarterback’s blind side. Decker and the other members of the Offensive Line improved weekly.
OT: Jack Conklin – Michigan State: Sophomore (6-6, 305) Plainwell, Michigan. Only a sophomore, but already a 2 year starter and an outstanding Left Tackle for the Spartans. This guy is already really good, but will do nothing but get better and better. Conklin handled Buckeye Defensive End Joey Bosa better than anyone else all season.
OG: Connor Kruse – Michigan State: Senior (6-5, 325) Lowell, Michigan. Even though the Michigan State Spartans had something of a disappointing season with not winning the Big 10, they had the best offense in the history of their school. Besides Connor Cook and Jeremy Langford, they had a great Offensive Line in 2014 with guys like Conklin, Kruse and Allen. Kruse was a 5th year senior and had an outstanding season for the Spartans. He even played Center in one game replacing injured All American starter Jack Allen.
OG: Billy Price – Ohio State: Freshman (6-4, 315) Austintown, Ohio. Price is a former Defensive Lineman that made the move to Offense recently. Supposedly, the strongest man on the Buckeye team benching 475 and a 30 inch vertical. Like the rest of the Buckeyes football team, Price got better as the season progressed. He will only continue to improve.
OG: Zac Epping – Minnesota: Senior (6-2, 320) Kenosha, Wisconsin. Long time starter at Offensive Guard for the Minnesota Gophers. With David Cobb putting up such big numbers at Running Back for the Gophers, the Offensive Line must be doing something right and Epping is one of the leaders up front. Very good run blocker.
C: Jack Allen – Michigan State: Junior (6-2, 300) Hinsdale, Illinois. Allen led an outstanding Offensive Line for the Spartan to one of their best seasons ever. Allen is a team leader and has been playing since his redshirt freshman season. He started some at Left Guard before taking over the Center job for good.
C: Robert Kugler – Purdue: Junior (6-3, 295) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I do realize there is only one Center on the field and I have 2 on my list, but I liked Kugler since last season and he is one of
the few bright spots on the Boilermaker roster. Kugler possesses excellent quickness and tenacity and I believe the Boilermakers will continue to improve under feisty head coach Darrell Hazel.
DE: Randy Gregory – Nebraska: Junior (6-6, 240) Fishers, Indiana. Gregory is one of the more interesting players in college football. At 6-6 and 240 he supposedly runs a 4.4 40 yard dash. The thought is that he needs to stay in school another year and add some weight which I agree with. But, with the coaching change, he may be wanting to declare for the NFL. Gregory made 50 total tackles and had 8.5 tackles for losses and 7 Quarterback sacks. Gregory is so quick that he also had 10
Quarterback hurries, broke up 3 passes, had an Interception, forced a fumble and had 2 kick blocks. Gregory even missed 2 games to injury or would have had an even better season.
impressive 20 tackles for losses and 13.5 Quarterback sacks. Bosa had a fumble returned for a Touchdown, forced 4 fumbles, 4 Quarterback hurries and a pass broken up. Bosa is a beast.
DE: Shilique Calhoun – Michigan State: Junior (6-5, 255) Middletown, New Jersey. Calhoun is a tough Jersey guy that has been one of the Spartans best players for the past 2 seasons. Totaled 37 tackles in 2014 with 11 for losses and 6.5 Quarterback sacks. Calhoun blocked a kick and had 8 Quarterback hurries. He has been projected as a first round pick if he comes out a year early so I would expect him to declare for the draft and Michigan State will miss him. Quality guy and player.
DE: Frank Clark – Michigan: Senior (6-2, 275) Cleveland, Ohio. As bad as this season was for the Wolverines, they did have several bright spots. Their defense was actually pretty outstanding for most of the season and Frank Clark was one of their best defenders. The stout Defensive End from Cleveland finished with 42 total tackles and 13.5 for loss. He also sacked the Quarterback 4 and a half times and nearly got there a few more times. Clark missed 2 games due to injury.
DE: Marcus Rush- Michigan State: Senior (6-3, 250) Cincinnati, Ohio. I don’t do a second team, so I can have as many players on my All ACC team as I like and Rush deserves recognition. He was a fantastic sidekick for Calhoun and Michigan State. Very aggressive player that finished the regular season with 36 total tackles and 10 tackles for losses and 7 Quarterback sacks.
DT: Drew Ott- Iowa: Junior (6-4, 270) Trumbull, Nebraska. Iowa had a very solid Defensive Line and Ott was a very productive Lineman for the Hawkeyes. Ott finished with 55 total tackles with 12 tackles for losses and 7.5 Quarterback sacks. Ott hurried the Quarterback 7 times, and forced a fumble. He broke up 2 passes and picked off another pass. Surprisingly, Ott also had a 12 yard punt return for a Touchdown.
DT: Andre Monroe- Maryland: Senior (5-11, 285) Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Monroe was force in the middle for the Terrapins this past season and over his career. He had 56 total tackles with 12 for loss and 9 Quarterback sacks. Monroe also forced a fumble. NFL may not be interested because of his lack of length, but he has been a good college player and plugs up the middle effectively.
DT: Louis Trinca-Pasat – Iowa: Senior (6-3, 290) Chicago, Illinois. Super productive Defensive Tackle for the Iowa Hawkeyes. The big man out of Chicago totaled 65 tackles with 11.5 being for losses and he had another 6.5 Quarterback sacks. Trinca-Pasat broke up 2 passes and hurried the Quarterback another 3 times. Iowa’s offense was horrible as usual, or they would have had a seriously good football team with this defense.
LB: Mike Hull – Penn State: Senior (6-0, 230) Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Penn State finished the regular season ranked second in total defense only behind Clemson. Hull looked like the old school Penn State Linebackers back when it was known as Linebacker U. Hull had 134 total tackles with
10.5 being behind the line of scrimmage and he had 2 Quarterback sacks. Hull was sideline to sidelin all season long and picked off 1 pass and knocked down 3 others. Penn State continues to rebuild and James Franklin has them on the right track, but it’s going to take a little time.
LB: Joshua Perry – Ohio State: Junior (6-4, 250) Galena, Ohio. Perry is the Buckeye’s leading tackler and he’s got the strength and size to be an intimidating presence. Perry totaled 113 tackles with 8.5 being for losses and 3 Quarterback sacks. Perry forced a fumble, hurried the Quarterback a couple of times and broke up 2 passes.
LB: Jake Ryan – Michigan: Senior (6-3, 235) Westlake Village, Ohio. Ryan was Michigan’s leading tackler for 2014 with 112. Plus, he had 14 tackles behind the line of scrimmage totaling 35 yards in losses. He also sacked the Quarterback 2 times and hurried them 5 more times. Ryan had an interception and broke up 3 more passes and he also forced 2 fumbles.
LB: Ed Davis – Michigan State: Junior (6-3, 245) Detroit, Michigan. Davis is a beast. He has that size and speed like an SEC Linebacker that everyone loves these days. Davis totaled 56 tackles this season but what stood out for an Inside Linebacker for me was the 11 tackles for losses and 6 Quarterback sacks. He also had another 5 Quarterback hurries, forced a fumble and broke up 2 passes. This is another player that I would like to see come back for his senior season.
LB: Damien Wilson – Minnesota: Senior (6-2, 240) Gloster, Mississippi. If you can’t beat them, join them is the old saying and Minnesota dipped down into the South and picked up a monster
Linebacker in Damien Wilson. Wilson had 111 total tackles this past season in leading the Gophers to an 8-4 season. Wilson also had an interception, 10.5 tackles for losses and 4 Quarterback sacks.
CB: Trae Waynes – Michigan State: Junior (6-1, 180) Kenosha, Wisconsin. Interesting that there are 3 guys on my All Big 10 list from Kenosha, Wisconsin. Waynes is a tall Cornerback which is gaining in popularity and he will be popular with NFL scouts. Waynes actually had a better season in 2013, but he was still very good in 2014. He had 43 total tackles with 2 for losses and another for a Quarterback sack. Waynes also broke up 7 passes but he was also avoided by opposing Quarterbacks just a little bit.
CB: Raymon Taylor – Michigan: Senior (5-10, 185) Detroit, Michigan. Local product has had a very nice career for the Wolverines and their excellent defense. This was not his best season, but he had 38 tackles and a tackle for loss. He also broke up 6 passes. Blake Countess was expected to be the top Cornerback for the Michigan Wolverines and had 6 Interceptions in 2013, but he had a really disappointing season.
DB: Sean Davis – Maryland: Junior (6-1, 200) Washington, DC. Davis is that tall Defensive Back that people covet these days trying to cover all of these tall Receivers. Davis was second on the team for the Terrapins in tackles this past season with 108. He broke up 8 passes and forced a fumble in between making 4 tackles for loss and sacking the Quarterback once. Davis plays with a lot of emotion and gives his all.
DB: Kurtis Drummond – Michigan State: Senior (6-1, 205) Masury, Ohio. Drummond has been a leader and one of the best players for Michigan State over the last 3 seasons. The Spartans have had a great defense the last 2 years and Drummond has been a 3 year starter. This season he had 65 total tackles, 4 interceptions, 3 tackles for loss, and 11 passes broken up. Could be the first safety taken in next year’s NFL draft.
DB: Vonn Bell – Ohio State: Sophomore (5-11,200) Roseville, Georgia. The sophomore from Georgia was one of the Buckeye’s top defenders in 2014 and demonstrated that with 5 Interceptions, 78 total tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 6 passes broken up. I’m not sure the Buckeyes have much of a
chance at all against Alabama, but if they do Bell is going to have to demonstrate a few more things.
DB: Nate Gerry – Nebraska: Sophomore (6-2, 205) Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Gerry was an outstanding safety for the Cornhuskers this past season totaling 85 tackles. Gerry had 4.5 tackles for losses, and half a sack. He picked off 5 passes and recovered a fumble. Gerry broke up 3 passes and forced 2 fumbles and hurried the Quarterback 3 more times. In their now infamous game against Wisconsin, Gerry was the only guy that managed to run down Melvin Gordon at all.
Coach of the Year: Urban Meyer- Ohio State
Offensive Player of the Year: Melvin Gordon – Wisconsin
Defensive Player of the Year: Joey Bosa – Ohio State
Freshmen of the year:
Offense: JT Barrett, Quarterback – Ohio State
Defense: Ja’Whaun Bentley, Linebacker – Purdue