Five from Big Ten on Rimington Trophy watch list

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Can the Big Ten have a repeat winner for the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation's top center?

Five players hope to make it happen.

Penn State's A.Q. Shipley took home the hardware last fall. Here are the five Big Ten centers named to the Rimington Trophy preseason watch list:

  • Ohio State sophomore Mike Brewster

  • Northwestern sophomore Ben Burkett

  • Wisconsin junior John Moffitt

  • Michigan sophomore David Molk

  • Michigan State senior Joel Nitchman

A very solid group overall, and what really stands out to me is the fact that the center spot in the Big Ten appears to be a strength for years to come. Only five sophomores made the watch list, and three are from the Big Ten.

Many will notice that Shipley's successor at Penn State, junior Stefen Wisniewski, does not appear on the watch list. Wisniewski, a second-team All-Big Ten guard last season, moved to center during the offseason. According to Penn State, the Rimington folks were hesitant to include Wisniewski because he hasn't played center during his first two seasons, a decision Penn State respected. Wisniewski will be able to earn consideration for the award with a strong performance this season.

Brewster obviously has tremendous upside and should contend for the award each of the next three years. Burkett and Molk both will be part of much-improved offensive lines this fall, and Moffitt and Nitchman will be looked to as leaders for their respective teams.