Thoughts on Phil Steel's All-BIG Teams

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Last updated: 05/24/2012 1:14 PM

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My Thoughts on Phil Steele’s Preseason All-B1G Teams

By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — For many college football fans around the country, Wednesday was like Christmas Eve.

Sort of.

The 2012 college football season is still three months away. Urban Meyer won’t coach his first game at Ohio State until Sept. 1, when he jogs out of the tunnel at Ohio Stadium for the Buckeyes’ season-opener against Miami (Ohio).

Until then, fans will have plenty of time to cogitate and prognosticate about their respective teams heading into the new season. They now have something to go on. Famed sportswriter Phil Steele released his Big Ten and SEC preseason teams Wednesday, and you can see them here.

With 15 selections overall, Ohio State trailed only Michigan State (16) for the most players on Steele’s preseason list, which includes first, second, third and fourth teams in the Big Ten.

The Buckeyes also had four players make Steele’s preseason 1st Team All-B1G, with quarterback Braxton Miller being selected as the 2nd Team quarterback behind Michigan’s Denard Robinson.

Buckeyes on the List:

1st Team: TE Jake Stoneburner, DE John Simon, DL Johnathan Hankins, DB C.J. Barnett

2nd Team: QB Braxton Miller, OL Jack Mewhort, OL Andrew Norwell

3rd Team: RB Jordan Hall, LB Ryan Shazier, P Ben Buchanan, K Drew Basil

4th team: WR Corey Brown, WR Devin Smith, DE Nathan Williams, CB Bradley Roby

Steele’s preseason All-Big Ten First Team:

QB: Denard Robinson, Michigan
RB: Montee Ball, Wisconsin
RB: Rex Burkhead, Nebraska
WR: Roy Roundtree, Michigan
WR: Keenan Davis, Iowa
WR: Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin
TE: Jake Stoneburner, Ohio State
C: Travis Frederick, Wisconsin
OG: Chris McDonald, Michigan State
OG: Spencer Long, Nebraska
OT: Ricky Wagner, Wisconsin
OT: Taylor Lewan, Michigan

DE: John Simon, Ohio State
DT: Johnathan Hankins, Ohio State

DT: Kawann Short, Purdue
DE: William Gholston, Michigan State
LB: Mike Taylor, Wisconsin
LB: Gerald Hodges, Penn State
LB: Jonathan Brown, Illinois
LB: Chris Borland, Wisconsin
CB: Johnny Adams, Michigan State
CB: Micah Hyde, Iowa
S: Isaiah Lewis, Michigan State
S: C.J. Barnett, Ohio State

K: Brett Maher, Nebraska
P: Brett Maher, Nebraska
KR: Raheem Mostert, Purdue
PR: Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin

My Instant Reaction

Bradley Roby
Photo by Jim Davidson
Bradley Roby

Something doesn’t look right: It was surprising to see OSU safety C.J. Barnett make the 1st team All-B1G and not cornerback Bradley Roby. It was even more surprising to see Roby fall all the way to the 4th Team on Steele’s preseason list.

Roby didn’t put up big numbers last year—just 47 tackles and three interceptions—but it’s hard to believe there are six better cornerbacks in the Big Ten. According to Steele, one of them is Michigan’s J.T. Floyd. Anyone who has seen Floyd and Roby play would know which one is the better player at this point.

Only a redshirt sophomore, Roby has a lot of potential, but he will have to earn a spot on one of the top teams this fall.

Ryan Shazier
Photo by Jim Davidson
Ryan Shazier

Right spot, for now: Many Ohio State fans would have the same complaint about linebacker Ryan Shazier being named to Steele’s 3rd Team All-B1G in the preseason. The sophomore out of Florida showed flashes of brilliance late last season and looked like a physical freak when he took the field this spring after his first off-season with Mickey Marotti.

Shazier recorded 15 tackles in the first start of his young career last fall against Penn State. He played hurt in the Michigan game and Gator Bowl, but a healthy Shazier could lead the Buckeyes in tackles this fall.

Right now, Shazier has only started three games in his career, which is why the 3rd Team selection seems about right for the preseason. Something tells me he will be a lot higher on the postseason list. That’s the only one that really matters.

Braxton Blooming: Steve Everitt may not think very highly of Braxton Miller, but apparently Phil Steele does. He ranks Miller as the No. 2 quarterback in the Big Ten, behind only Michigan’s Denard Robinson.

Braxton Miller
Photo by Dan Harker
Braxton Miller

There are OSU fans who would love to see Miller ahead of Robinson, but the production simply doesn’t support it at this point. Robinson clearly has issues with his passing ability, but he has posted back-to-back seasons with over 1,000 yards rushing and 2,000 yards passing.

Miller does rank ahead of quarterbacks like Taylor Martinez, Nathan Scheelhaase and James Vandenberg on Steele’s list of quarterbacks in the Big Ten. No player in the conference is poised for more of a breakout season than Miller, and the No. 2 ranking probably fits him perfectly heading into his sophomore season at Ohio State.

Christian Bryant
Photo by Jim Davidson
Christian Bryant

Missing in action: There were a few notable Ohio State players missing from Steele’s preseason teams on Wednesday. The most notable was probably safety Christian Bryant, who finished third on the team last year with 68 tackles and second with eight pass deflections.

Also missing from the preseason teams were running back Carlos Hyde—listed as the backup to Hall on the post-spring depth chart—and cornerback Travis Howard. The senior from Miami was listed as a co-starter with sophomore Doran Grant on the latest depth chart.

Linebackers Curtis Grant and Etienne Sabino were also absent from the list, along with defensive linemen Garrett Goebel, Michael Bennett and Adam Bellamy.

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