It's almost here. This week marks the beginning of the end of Big Ten football's offseason. Next week brings the conference's annual media days in Chicago, and with it, the unofficial start to a fresh year of football.
To celebrate, we're taking a look back at the past seven months and handing out superlatives to some of the people that performed the best and events that entertained us the most during the offseason.
Workout schedules are a little more relaxed when coaches aren’t around, which gives players a chance to have a little fun in the gym or on the practice field. Thanks to the magic of cell phone video and social media, we all get a chance to be a fly on the wall during some of these sessions. From backflip catches to long-snapping trick shots, capturing odd feats of strength and skill on camera has become a staple of the offseason. The Big Ten gave us its share of viral reminders of its players’ freaky athleticism this season. Here are some of our favorites.
Our most recent addition to the list comes from Wisconsin linebacker Joe Schobert, who showed that despite being only 6-foot-2, the best dunker on campus might be on the football team rather than the national runner-up basketball team.
- Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) July 22, 2015
Now we move from basketball to gymnastics. Former Michigan defensive back Blake Countess was a gymnast in his youth. After teammate Jabrill Peppers showed off with some backflips during a spring practice in March, Countess decided to put him in his place. Countess left the Wolverines in May.
- Blake Countess (@TheeCount2) February 27, 2015
Countess' former teammate Jake Butt joined the list this summer with his best Odell Beckham Jr. impression. Nobody does it quite like Beckham, but Butt earns style points for doing his without a shirt.
A little work from today.. pic.twitter.com/jOmzgujgmg
- jake butt (@JBooty_88) July 9, 2015
And finally, we can’t leave out the big guys. Iowa defensive end Drew Ott represented the linemen this year by defending his hay bale-tossing title at the Solon Beef Days festival. Ott easily cleared a 13-foot-6 bar while wearing overalls and a stars-and-stripes bandana.