Big Ten Announces Football Preseason Honors
Three returning All-Americans, eight former All-Big Ten selections highlight this year’s list
ROSEMONT, Ill. – An outstanding mix of veteran talent and rising stars make up the sixth annual Big Ten Conference football preseason honors list that was announced Monday in conjunction with the start of Big Ten Media Days at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago. A select media panel chose this year’s 10-member preseason list, including five representatives each from the East and West divisions.
Ohio State had two standouts selected to represent the East Division, with junior quarterback J.T. Barrett and junior linebacker Raekwon McMillan earning preseason honors. Penn State sophomore running back Saquon Barkley, Michigan State junior defensive lineman Malik McDowell and Michigan junior linebacker/defensive back Jabrill Peppers rounded out the East Division lineup. All five players garnered Big Ten football preseason honors for the first time in their careers.
Iowa and Northwestern each fielded a pair of honorees on the West Division roster. The Hawkeyes were represented by senior quarterback C.J. Beathard and senior defensive back Desmond King, while the Wildcats saw junior running back Justin Jackson and junior linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. make the list. Wisconsin senior running back Corey Clement completed the West Division honorees, joining Jackson as the only standouts to earn Big Ten football preseason honors for the second consecutive season.
King headlines this year’s preseason honors list after the consensus first-team All-American took home the Jim Thorpe and Jack Tatum awards as the nation’s top defensive back in 2015 and was a finalist for the Walter Camp Foundation Player of the Year award last season. Peppers and Walker also were All-America selections last season, while Barkley and Peppers nabbed freshman All-America accolades a year ago.
The 2016 Big Ten preseason honors list features the reigning Big Ten Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year in King and the returning Big Ten Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year in Peppers, who are among eight All-Big Ten selections on the squad. King, Peppers and Walker were first-team picks last year (King being chosen unanimously), while McMillan was a first-team choice by the media and a second-team selection by the coaches. Other second-team All-Conference honorees last year who made this year’s preseason honors list include Barkley, Beathard, Jackson and McDowell.
The full list of Big Ten football preseason honorees is as follows:
Jabrill Peppers, Jr., LB/DB, Michigan
Malik McDowell, Jr., DL, Michigan State
J.T. Barrett, Jr., QB, Ohio State
Raekwon McMillan, Jr., LB, Ohio State
Saquon Barkley, So., RB, Penn State
C.J. Beathard, Sr., QB, Iowa
Desmond King, Sr., DB, Iowa
Justin Jackson, Jr., RB, Northwestern
Anthony Walker Jr., Jr., LB, Northwestern
Corey Clement, Sr., RB, Wisconsin