The Big Ten Conference announced today its fourth annual football Players to Watch list, with 10 players earning preseason recognition. The preseason Players to Watch list is selected by a media panel and consists of five student-athletes each from the East Division and West Division.
Representing the East Division are Maryland wide receiver Stefon Diggs, Michigan wide receiver Devin Funchess, Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun, Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller and Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg. Miller was named to the Big Ten Football Players to Watch list for the third straight season.
Nebraska and Wisconsin lead the way with two players each on the West Division Players to Watch list. Husker running back Ameer Abdullah and defensive end Randy Gregory are joined on the list by Badger running back Melvin Gordon and right tackle Rob Havenstein.Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff rounds out the division’s honorees.
The Players to Watch list includes the reigning two-time Big Ten Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year and Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year in Miller. Other individual award winners from last season to claim preseason honors include the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year in Hackenberg, the Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year in Funchess and the Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year in Calhoun.
Abdullah, Calhoun and Scherff were each named All-Americans last season. All 10 players earned all-conference honors in 2013, including first-team accolades for Abdullah, Calhoun, Funchess, Gregory, Miller and Scherff.
The complete list of Big Ten football preseason Players to Watch appears below:
Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland
Devin Funchess, WR, Michigan
Shilique Calhoun, DE, Michigan State
Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
Christian Hackenberg, QB, Penn State
Brandon Scherff, OL, Iowa
Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
Randy Gregory, DE, Nebraska
Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin
Rob Havenstein, RT, Wisconsin