Ranking the Big Ten: Thaddeus Gibson, No. 26

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Ranking the Big Ten's top 30 players ...

No. 26

Thaddeus Gibson, DE, Ohio State, Jr., 6-2, 240

Why he's here: If Gibson continues what he started last year, he'll finish much higher on the list by the end of the 2009 season. The junior came on strong during Big Ten play to lead Ohio State in sacks (5) and rank second in tackles for loss (9). With Lawrence Wilson sidelined, Gibson started the final 10 games.

He's not quite in the elite group of Big Ten pass-rushers but should get there this season. His willingness to learn and improve encourages Ohio State's coaches, and he will anchor arguably the Big Ten's best defensive line this fall.

Gibson is a classic rush end at 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, and he'll command more double teams if he continues to pressure quarterbacks. Though Wilson returns from a knee injury this fall, Ohio State can't afford to have Gibson on the sideline.

The Rundown

  • No. 26 -- Thaddeus Gibson, DE, Ohio State

  • No. 27 -- Stefen Wisniewski, C, Penn State

  • No. 28 -- Matt Mayberry, LB, Indiana

  • No. 29 -- Martez Wilson, LB, Illinois

  • No. 30 -- Trevor Anderson, DE, Michigan State