CHICAGO — Life is good for teams at the top of the Big Ten, or at least those perceived to be at the top entering the 2017 season.
The Big Ten released its annual (and strangely sort of hands-off) list of “preseason honorees” as selected by a media panel on Monday. It’s not a preseason all-conference team, just a list of five players from each division. The four division favorites took eight of the 10 spots.
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett and Penn State running back Saquon Barkley made the East Division list for the second consecutive season. The Buckeyes also landed defensive end Tyquan Lewis on the list, and the Nittany Lions grabbed another slot with quarterback Trace McSorley. Indiana linebacker Tegray Scales rounds out the East Division list.
Wisconsin and Northwestern, the teams picked one and two in most preseason projections so far, grabbed four spots in the West Division. Tight end Troy Fumagalli and linebacker Jack Cichy represented the Badgers, running back Justin Jackson and safety Goodwin Igwebuike the Wildcats. It’s the third selection for Jackson, who has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons in Evanston. Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell completed the list in the West.
This is the second consecutive season Nebraska hasn’t had a player make the list. The Huskers last made the cut with Maliek Collins and De’Mornay Pierson-El in 2015.