Big Ten rankings: No. 3, Cam Heyward

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

No. 3: Cameron Heyward, DL, Ohio State, Sr., 6-5, 288

2009 numbers: Led Ohio State and ranked eighth in the Big Ten in sacks with 6.5; finished second on the team in tackles for loss (10) and recovered a fumble for a touchdown at Michigan; earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors after recording three tackles for loss in two sacks in win at Penn State.

Most recent ranking: No. 7 in the 2009 postseason player rankings.

Making the case for Heyward: Heyward might be the Big Ten's most NFL-ready player. An imposing figure with size, strength, athleticism, toughness and intelligence, he can play both line positions at an extremely high level. Heyward could be this year's version of Jared Odrick if he plays primarily at the tackle position, but he'll likely spend more time at the end spot, where he can pressure the quarterback. Heyward flat out dominated games last year against USC and Penn State, two of the better teams Ohio State faced. His goal this fall is to be consistently dominant up front, and he has the tools to do so. Heyward has been named to the Playboy preseason All-America squad and was named to the preseason watch list for the Lombardi Trophy. He's a big name to watch both this season and in April during the NFL draft, where he'll likely be a first-round pick.

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

  • No. 12: Ohio State LB Ross Homan

  • No. 11: Wisconsin LT Gabe Carimi

  • No. 10: Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan

  • No. 9: Ohio State G Justin Boren

  • No. 8: Penn State G/C Stefen Wisniewski

  • No. 7: Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor

  • No. 6: Penn State RB Evan Royster

  • No. 5: Iowa S Tyler Sash

  • No. 4: Wisconsin RB John Clay