Big Ten players on Nagurski, Outland lists

The preseason awards watch lists parade continues today with two pretty big honors: the Outland and Bronko Nagurski trophies.

The Outland Trophy honors the best interior lineman in the country, and the Big Ten usually produces several great players in the trenches. So it's no surprise to see the league place 12 players on the preseason watch list, second only to the SEC's 19. Penn State's Devon Still was a finalist last year for the Outland Trophy, which went to Alabama's Barrett Jones. Jones will try to join Nebraska's Dave Rimington as the only two-time Outland winner this season.

Here are the Big Ten players on the Outland list:

Some very solid candidates here. Lewan, Short and Wagner are going to be on a lot of preseason All-America lists, and guys like Spence, Hankins and Hill look like major breakout candidates. Of course, no one was really talking that much about Still at this time last summer, so don't be surprised if someone not on this list emerges as a star. The Big Ten should be very good on the lines again this season, if this list is an indication. The three Outland finalists will be named Nov. 1.

The watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy was also revealed. That award goes to the top defensive player in the nation. The Big Ten has 14 players on the list, again second only to the SEC's 19.

Again, there are some very strong candidates here. You get a sense of just how good Michigan State's defense can be this season with three Spartans on the list -- and linebacker Denicos Allen seems like a snub here for a fourth watch list member. Borland and Taylor were the league's top tacklers a year ago, while Simon, Short, Brown and Hodges should be among the best players at their positions in the country. The five Nagurski finalists will be announced Nov. 15.