Big Ten rankings: Thaddeus Gibson, No. 21

The Big Ten postseason player rankings, based on past performance and future potential, continue with ...

No. 21

GibsonThaddeus Gibson, DE/OLB, Ohio State, Jr., 6-2, 240

Preseason ranking: 26

Why he's here: Ohio State's defensive line certainly lived up to the hype, and Gibson was a big reason why. He led the Buckeyes with 13 tackles for loss, recorded four sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Gibson and teammate Cameron Heyward formed one of the nation's top defensive end tandems as Ohio State ranked among the top 10 nationally in rushing defense, total defense, scoring defense and takeaways.

Gibson opted to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft, where he should be selected in the second or third round. Although one more year in Columbus could have bumped Gibson to the first round, he certainly has the ability to play at the next level, most likely at outside linebacker. He started 23 games for Ohio State and earned consensus second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2009.

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