Big Ten rankings: No. 14, Matt McGloin

Most of today's blog coverage will naturally be focused on recruiting and national signing day. But we're also continuing to roll out our postseason player rankings, which are based on 2012 performance only.

Up next is a guy who seemed wildly unlikely to grace this list in the preseason ...

No. 14: Matt McGloin, QB, Penn State, Sr., 6-foot-1, 210 pounds

Preseason rank: Not ranked

2012 numbers: Completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 3,266 yards and 24 touchdowns, with five interceptions. Also ran for five touchdowns.

Why he's here: Until 2012, McGloin was basically the guy Penn State played only because it had to.

The former walk-on never seemed like the first choice of the previous coaching regime, which continued to start Rob Bolden despite a lack of compelling evidence that Bolden was qualified for the job. Still, McGloin kept forcing his way into the lineup, rarely impressing but doing better than any other Nittany Lion quarterback.

All of that changed his senior year. Bill O'Brien let McGloin know early on that he was the starter, allowing him to build confidence and lead the team. And O'Brien's modernization of the Penn State offense highlighted McGloin's abilities to the utmost. What resulted was not just a career year but an emphatic statement by McGloin, who was the only Big Ten player to exceed 3,000 yards passing in 2012. In fact, he threw for more than twice as many yards as he had in each of 2010 and 2011 and set several school records in the process, including the marks for career touchdown passes, single-season passing yards and most completions in a season.

McGloin won the 2012 Burlsworth Trophy, which was awarded to the top former or current walk-on in college football. McGloin grew tired of being described as a walk-on. His senior year proved that he could be a whole lot more than that.

The countdown

No. 25: Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan

No. 24: Michael Carter, CB, Minnesota

No. 23: Kain Colter, QB, Northwestern

No. 22: Spencer Long, G, Nebraska

No. 21: Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State

No. 20: Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska

No. 19: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

No. 18: Mike Taylor, LB, Wisconsin

No. 17: Jake Ryan, LB, Michigan

No. 16: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State

No. 15: Max Bullough, LB, Michigan State