Big Ten Football: Nine Breakout Players for 2012

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Big Ten Football: Nine Breakout Players for 2012
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Last season, the Big Ten said goodbye to a number of its biggest stars.

It's top quarterback graduated (again). Every receiver that earned all-conference honors is gone. Nine of the media's all-conference offensive linemen have moved on. The top tight end is gone.

The top linebacker is gone. All but one of the first-team all-conference defensive linemen have moved on. The top defensive back is gone.

Nevertheless, college football is a fluid world. Players have four years, after which opportunities open up for new players.

This is not a list of true freshman that will be making waves in the Big Ten in 2012.

It is also not necessarily a list of players that will see their first starting experience next season.

Rather, it is a list of players that showed some glimpses of talent during the past season, whether as a starter or key backup.

In short, these are players that have recognition among their own fan base, but they are largely anonymous around the rest of the Big Ten.

They won't be for long.

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