We're in the home stretch of the preseason player rankings, based on past performance and potential impact for the 2011 season. Let's check out the next name on the list ...
No. 9: Edwin Baker, RB, Michigan State, Jr., 5-9, 210
2010 numbers: Recorded 207 rushes for 1,201 yards and 13 touchdowns; finished fourth in the Big Ten in rushing average (92.4 ypg) and eighth in scoring (6 ppg); had five 100-yard rushing performances; caught three passes for 22 yards.
Why he's here: Baker emerged as Michigan State's featured back and was one of the more consistent rushers in the Big Ten, eclipsing 85 yards in eight games. A first-team All-Big Ten selection by the media, he displayed explosiveness with 10 rushes of 20 yards or longer but also showed power in the red zone. Despite being just 5-foot-9, Baker is extremely sturdy and excels in the weight room. A lot of people have made the Javon Ringer comparisons, and though Baker likely will share carries more than Ringer did, he displays a similar work ethic to the former Spartans All-American. He needs to show he can attack some of the Big Ten's better defensive lines this fall, and he's setting the bar high for himself. Although teammates Le'Veon Bell and Larry Caper will challenge for carries, Baker's experience last year gives him an edge.
No. 25: Chris Borland, LB, Wisconsin
No. 24: Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State
No. 23: Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa
No. 22: Shaun Prater, CB, Iowa
No. 21: Nathan Scheelhaase, QB, Illinois
No. 20: John Simon, DL, Ohio State
No. 19: Ricardo Allen, CB, Purdue
No. 18: Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin
No. 17: Mike Adams, OT, Ohio State
No. 16: Derek Moye, WR, Penn State
No. 15: Jeremy Ebert, WR, Northwestern
No. 14: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
No. 13: Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska
No. 12: David Molk, C, Michigan
No .11: Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
No. 10: Mike Martin, DT, Michigan