Defensive end should be one of the Big Ten's strongest positions for the second consecutive year, and five players have been named to the preseason watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award, given to the nation's top D-end.
The candidates are:
Cameron Heyward, Ohio State
Adrian Clayborn, Iowa
Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue
Broderick Binns, Iowa
Jack Crawford, Penn State
I'd certainly put Heyward, Clayborn and Kerrigan in the front-runner category for this award, and quite frankly, I'd be a little surprised if one of them doesn't win it on Dec. 8. Iowa is the only team with multiple players on the watch list, a testament to the strength of the Hawkeyes' line. Crawford also is generating some preseason buzz and should lead Penn State's pass rush this fall.
Former Michigan star LaMarr Woodley (2006) is the only Big Ten player to win the Hendricks Award, which started in 2002.