Walter Camp watch list has three from Big Ten

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

The Big Ten likely will remain a defense-oriented league this fall, but the three players named to the Walter Camp Award preseason watch list all play on the offensive side.

Penn State's starting backfield of quarterback Daryll Clark and running back Evan Royster both made the list, along with Illinois star wide receiver Arrelious Benn. The Walter Camp Award is presented to the national player of the year, and will be announced Dec. 10 on ESPN.

Clark earned first-team All-Big Ten honors last year after leading Penn State to a share of the league title and a berth in the Rose Bowl. Royster, a candidate for the Doak Walker Award, is the Big Ten's leading returning rusher after racking up 1,236 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2008. Benn, the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2007, finished second in the league in receiving yards (1,055) and third in receptions (67) last season.

Former Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith was the last Big Ten player to win the Walter Camp Award, taking home the hardware in 2006.

I was a little surprised not to see Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker or one of the Big Ten's standout linebackers -- Navorro Bowman, Greg Jones, Pat Angerer -- not on the list, which includes most of the usual suspects.