5 Players We Wish Were Attending 2013 Big Ten Media Days
Big Ten media days are scheduled for July 24 and 25, and the list of who will participate has already been released. Of course, the big names including Ohio State's Braxton Miller, Michigan's Devin Gardner and Nebraska's Taylor Martinez will be in attendance, but there are a few coaches who missed out on a great opportunity.
Media days are a chance for coaches to showcase some of their best talent. It is also a chance for the media to get to know some of the younger guys who are considered to be the next great players. Big Ten media days should still be eventful, but it could have been a lot better.
There are a couple of great linebackers and an elite wide receiver who weren't invited.
Jr. Marcus Rush, DE, Michigan State
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Is there a better name for a defensive end than Marcus Rush?
Rush was born to rush the quarterback. He explodes off the snap and is one of the most athletic lineman you will see. His long arms helped him break up five passes last season, and his two sacks were a sample size of what's to come.
Michigan State has had the best defense in the Big Ten the last two seasons. Rush will play a huge role if that success is going to continue. He's the leader of the defensive line and should have been brought on board to make a statement to the rest of the conference.
Sr. Spencer Long, OG, Nebraska
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Nebraska didn't bring one offensive lineman to media days. That's bizarre considering it was the best rushing team in the Big Ten last season.
Who do you think is opening up those running lanes?
Spencer Long is one of the best linemen in this conference. He was a second-team All-American and a semifinalist for the Burlsworth Trophy last season. He's enormous at 6'4", 315 pounds, and he should begin to pop up on NFL draft scouts radar.
Nebraska's offense was a little more balanced than usual, but the bread and butter will remain its running game. Long is a huge part of that.
Jr. Allen Robinson, WR, Penn State
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The biggest shocker of all was not seeing Allen Robinson's name on the list. Is this a mistake? Robinson is still a wide receiver for Penn State, right?
Robinson led the Big Ten last season with 77 receptions, 1,018 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. He was the only Big Ten receiver to hit the 1,000-yard mark and haul in double-digit touchdowns. Robinson was also a first-team All-Big Ten selection and was named the conference's Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year.
Not being invited to media days is surprising, but it isn't nearly as insulting as him not being mentioned on the Maxwell Award watch list.
Jr. Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
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Ohio State had plenty of great players to choose from and made solid choices. It's tough to argue with bringing Braxton Miller and Bradley Roby.
But what about linebacker Ryan Shazier?
Shazier was the leading tackler (114) last season for the Buckeyes. He broke up 10 passes, had five sacks and forced three fumbles.
He'll now take on a leadership role with only four defensive starters returning. Elite defense is what Ohio State will need if it is going to win a national championship. It would have been nice to see another great defender rewarded for his strong performance.
Sr. Jonathan Brown, LB, Illinois
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Jonathan Brown is a name that everybody should be familiar with.
Last season, he was a Butkus Award semifinalist and an honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection. He finished the year with 59 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. What's scary is that he is just beginning to tap into his potential.
Brown is an effective blitzer and is excellent at dropping back into pass-coverage. He covers a lot of ground and plays with high energy. Brown is somebody the Big Ten should get to know a little better, as he is poised for a breakout season.