Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Fear the 'Stache, and the pancake blocks
Taylor Lewan, Michigan
Lewan was set to be the highest draft pick from the Big Ten in the 2012 NFL draft, but he decided to come back for another year of mentoring in Ann Arbor. With a solid senior season and more performances like his Outback Bowl output against Jadeveon Clowney, Lewan could join Clowney in the top five of next year's draft.
Make no mistake about it, this is the key returning cog in the Michigan offensive machine. Lewan is a rare talent who we get to enjoy for yet another year. He is also the best lineman in the Big Ten, and it's not really up for debate until games begin to get played again in September.
Spencer Long, Nebraska
Spencer Long helps Jeremiah Sirles pave the way for the dynamic rushing attack in Lincoln. With Taylor Martinez and Ameer Abdullah each requiring lengthy blocks at times on edge rushing plays, Long is just the type of blocker the team needs.
Don't expect Long to be penalized much in 2013, and that should help Nebraska avoid the problems that plagued the offense at times in big games last year. Plus, the offensive line should turn out to be potentially the best in the league.
Andrew Norwell, Ohio State
One of the biggest reasons Ohio State will be picked to be a national title contender is returning nine starters on offense, including big movers up front like Andrew Norwell. Look for Norwell to continue to open some running lanes and garner some double-teams in 2013.
Norwell also played well in limited action during the spring. Although Ohio State focused more on passing the ball during the spring game, Norwell provided plenty of time for his quarterback, even when going against first-team defensive players.
Jeremiah Sirles, Nebraska
Just like Ohio State, Nebraska is also expected to be an elite offense in 2013 following good numbers in the past season. Look for Sirles to open up some holes for Ameer Abdullah and the other running backs who may emerge for the Huskers attack.
Sirles also seems to be on the same page with Taylor Martinez, which helps him anticipate the best way to block a play. Sirles earned some all-conference honors a season ago, and he should be one of the Big Ten's best again in 2013.
John Urschel, Penn State
John Urschel excels both on and off the field, as he carried a sixth straight semester with a 4.0 GPA last year. Urschel has also graduated in three years with a degree in mathematics, which means this player brings the brain and the brawn to make Penn State fans proud.
Urschel will be a key piece in his senior year while he takes graduate-school classes. If Penn State is to have the same success as 2012 with a new quarterback, the offensive line will once again need to hold opponents to about one sack per game and nothing more.
Urschel helped this line achieve that in 2012, but he also needs to do so as the leader of the line in 2013.
Jake Cotton, Nebraska
Fou Fonoti, Michigan State
Ryan Groy, Wisconsin
Ty Howle, Penn State
Jack Mewhort, Ohio State