Big Ten rankings: No. 12, Ross Homan

The Big Ten preseason player rankings, based on past performance and 2010 potential, continue with ...

No. 12: Ross Homan, LB, Ohio State, Sr., 6-0, 227

2009 numbers: Led Ohio State and tied for second in the Big Ten with five interceptions; finished eighth in the league in tackles per game (8.3) and tied for fifth in total tackles (108); led Ohio State with 10 passes defended and recorded a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

Most recent ranking: Unranked in the 2009 postseason player rankings.

Making the case for Homan: If Homan played in any other league, he would have been a slam dunk for first-team all-conference honors at linebacker last season. He shouldn't be overshadowed this fall and likely will push Michigan State's Greg Jones for the title of Big Ten's top linebacker. Homan boosted an opportunistic Ohio State defense by recording five interceptions, including a pick in four of the Buckeyes' final five games. The veteran plays the pass extremely well (team-high 10 passes defended in 2009) and is no slouch against the run, as he showed in the Rose Bowl against Oregon. Homan has played alongside more celebrated Ohio State linebackers like James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman. This fall, Homan has a chance to put his name among the Buckeyes' elite and try to lead Ohio State to its first national title since 2002.

The rundown

  • No. 25: Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt

  • No. 24: Illinois RB Mikel LeShoure

  • No. 23: Iowa DT Karl Klug

  • No. 22: Northwestern LB Quentin Davie

  • No. 21: Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins

  • No. 20: Ohio State LB Brian Rolle

  • No. 19: Wisconsin QB Scott Tolzien

  • No. 18: Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi

  • No. 17: Ohio State WR DeVier Posey

  • No. 16: Wisconsin LB Chris Borland

  • No. 15: Wisconsin G/C John Moffitt

  • No. 14: Indiana WR Tandon Doss

  • No. 13: Purdue WR Keith Smith