The 2010 Big Ten postseason player rankings wrap up with ...
No. 1: Ryan Kerrigan, DE, Purdue, Sr., 6-4, 263
2010 numbers: Recorded 70 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, five forced fumbles, one safety and two fumbles recovered; led the Big Ten in tackles for loss, sacks and forced fumbles; led nation in tackles for loss (2.17 per game), finished third in sacks (1.04 per game) and tied for second in forced fumbles (.42 per game); had at least one sack in nine of 12 games, one tackle for loss in 11 games and multiple TFLs in eight games; led FBS in tackles for loss during the regular season; set a Big Ten record and tied for the FBS all-time career record in forced fumbles with 14.
Preseason rank: No. 10 in the preseason Top 25 players
Why he's here: In a league loaded with elite defenders, Kerrigan rose above the rest with a dominant senior season. He impacted the game every time he took the field and spent a huge chunk of the season in opposing backfields making plays. The man nicknamed "Superman" did all he could for a star-crossed Purdue team, swarming ball-carriers and anchoring a strong Boilers defensive line. Some will ask how I can rank a guy No. 1 who played on a 4-8 team. Those folks didn't watch enough of Kerrigan, the consensus Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Much like last year's No. 1 player, former Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham, Kerrigan shined despite having a target on his back. Opposing teams knew what was coming from No. 94, and they still couldn't do anything to stop him.
Kerrigan became Purdue's first unanimous All-American since 1980 and was a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, Rotary Lombardi Award and Ronnie Lott IMPACT Trophy. Unlike Graham, Kerrigan received the accolades he deserved and deserves to be in this spot before he moves onto the NFL. Purdue certainly will miss him. The rest of the Big Ten will not.
No. 2: Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt
No. 3: Michigan QB Denard Robinson
No. 4: Northwestern QB Dan Persa
No. 5: Illinois DT Corey Liuget
No. 6: Wisconsin LT Gabe Carimi
No. 7: Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure
No. 8: Illinois LB Martez Wilson
No. 9: Ohio State WR Dane Sanzenbacher
No. 10: Wisconsin QB Scott Tolzien
No. 11: Michigan State LB Greg Jones
No. 12: Ohio State CB Chimdi Chekwa
No. 13: Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor
No. 14: Wisconsin G John Moffitt
No. 15: Michigan C David Molk
No. 16: Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward:
No. 17: Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi
No. 18: Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins
No. 19: Indiana WR Tandon Doss
No. 20: Ohio State C Mike Brewster
No. 21: Penn State G Stefen Wisniewski
No. 22: Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn
No. 23: Wisconsin RB James White
No. 24: Ohio State LT Mike Adams
No. 25: Indiana QB Ben Chappell