Most every Big Ten school is in the thick of spring football practice right now, gearing up for a year of transition that welcomes Maryland and Rutgers to the league and the dawn of the College Football Playoff era.
These offseason practices are where most of the actual "coaching" takes place between staff and student, as opposed to the fall, where things are more gameplan- and season-specific. Now is when the players on the team make the most tangible improvement and emerge as surprising potential contributors.
At some of the conference's most intriguing schools—specifically Iowa and Michigan State—spring camp is only one or two days old, so no player has been able to fortify himself as a breakout performer quite yet. Those things will come in time.
At others, however, camp has been open long enough for certain players to break out and raise some eyebrows. With the spring game close around the corner, they have improved their stock and made their name worth keeping an eye on through the summer.
And that is what the spring is all about.