Big Ten rankings: No. 1, Ryan Kerrigan

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