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Remember me? Big Ten player comebacks to watch

There are few things more cruel in college sports than an injury which takes away an entire season.

Players work and train year-round for the right to suit up on a dozen or so Saturdays in the fall. So it's no fun when those games are taken away and the year turns into rehab drudgery.

The good news is, a season-ending injury is sometimes just a bump in the road. Here are some guys who missed all of the 2015 season but could make an impact in the Big Ten in 2016:

Ohio State WR Noah Brown: The Buckeyes were raving about Brown's potential all spring and summer last year. But less than a week before the season opener, Brown broke his left leg during practice. He's practicing this spring, albeit not at full speed, and could be a contributor this season as Ohio State looks for some playmakers at wideout.

Michigan State LB Ed Davis: Spartans coaches expected a huge senior year out of Davis, whom they described as their most productive linebacker in 2014. But Davis suffered a season-ending knee injury on the first day of full-pad workouts in fall camp. He must graduate this spring before applying for a sixth year, and Michigan State is confident that will happen. He could turn an already very good linebacker corps into a potentially great one.

Illinois WR Mikey Dudek: A mostly unheralded recruit, Dudek was one of the great freshman success stories of 2014 when he caught 76 passes for 1,038 yards. A torn ACL in spring practice last year kept him from following that up in 2015, as he wisely decided against rushing back to the field. Now a year removed from the injury, Dudek has looked good early on in spring practice for new coach Lovie Smith and could be a major weapon again this year.

Indiana WR J-Shun Harris: A quick slot receiver who made an impression as a freshman, Harris seemed primed for a big role on last year's Hoosiers. That is, until he tore his ACL early in summer workouts. Harris is practicing on a limited basis this spring, and Indiana could always use another athlete in its potent passing game when he gets fully healed.

Michigan DT Bryan Mone: The Wolverines were counting on Mone to be at least in the rotation at nose guard, as the 6-foot-4, 325-pounder showed serious potential as a true freshman in 2014 and during preseason practice. Then Mone broke his leg in August on a freak play. He was back to 100 percent this spring and should play a vital role on what will be a deep and imposing Michigan defensive front.

Here are a few other guys who played only briefly in 2015 who could be very important in 2016:

Michigan State CB Vayante Copeland: As a freshman last year, Copeland was already drawing comparisons to the standout Spartans corners who preceded him. But he suffered a scary neck injury in the Week 2 win over Oregon. It's great to see him back in pads this spring, and his return should strengthen the back end of the Michigan State defense.

Rutgers DT Darius Hamilton: The Scarlet Knights' team captain only managed 15 snaps last season and called it a year in September. Getting him back will be a huge boost for a defense that struggled to stop the run while he was sidelined.

Nebraska DB Charles Jackson: The Huskers senior can't buy a break. He took a redshirt in 2014 after injuring his knee in fall camp, then dealt with another year-ending knee injury in last year's opener. He's giving it one last go this spring, and he deserves better luck.

Minnesota S Damarius Travis: He was lost for the season after getting hurt in the opener against TCU, and that dented the Gophers defense. He should be a leader for another strong secondary in Minneapolis this fall.

Penn State LB Nyeem Wartman-White: Adding injury to insult, Wartman-White busted up his knee in the season-opening loss against Temple. He's being held out this spring but will be needed this season on a linebacker crew that lacks depth.