Pro Football Focus mentioned 16 Big Ten players in its list of the top 101 players in college football this season. But one incredibly talented player was snubbed by the analytical website.
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett did not appear anywhere within Pro Football Focus’ rankings despite being regarded by many as the best quarterback in the Big Ten. Barrett has also generated some national buzz and could be a Heisman Trophy candidate this upcoming season.
The biggest problem is Barrett played sporadically in 2016 after Cardale Jones won the starting job heading into the 2015 season. He took over the starting job toward the end of the season and threw for 993 yards and 11 touchdowns while rushing for 682 yards and an 11 scores.
Barrett is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation and should thrive as Ohio State’s guy for the entire season. Barrett performed admirably as a true freshman when he replaced the injured Braxton Miller during the 2014 season, but his lack of playing time last season muddles his potential slightly for 2016.
The Big Ten was well represented on PFF’s list, with five players ranked within the top 25. Leading the way was Michigan cornerback Jourdan Lewis, who ranked No. 7. The other Big Ten player to crack the top 10 was Iowa cornerback Desmond King.
Michigan’s utility man Jabrill Peppers, Illinois defensive end Dawuane Smoot and Michigan State defensive end Malik McDowell were the other players ranked inside the top 25. Ten Big Ten squads had at least one player on the list, but Michigan led the way with five players listed. Michigan State and Ohio State were the only other Big Ten programs with more than one player ranked. Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota and Northwestern did not have a player make the list.
Here’s a complete list of the Big Ten players featured on Pro Football Focus’ list:
7. Jourdan Lewis, CB, Michigan
9. Desmond King, CB, Iowa
16. Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
20. Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois
23. Malik McDowell, DE, Michigan State
27. Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
29. Pat Elflein, G, Ohio State
31. Chris Wormley, DT, Michigan
32. Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
34. Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State
43. Vince Biegel, OLB, Wisconsin
63. Jake Replogle, DT, Purdue
72. Ryan Glasgow, DT, Michigan
90. Nate Gerry, S, Nebraska
99. Darius Hamilton, DT, Rutgers
100. Ed Davis, LB, Michigan State