Big Ten rankings: No. 5, Tyler Sash

The Big Ten preseason player rankings, based on past performance and 2010 potential, continue with ...

No. 5: Tyler Sash, S, Iowa, Jr., 6-1, 210

2009 numbers: Led the Big Ten with six interceptions and finished second in the league and 11th nationally in interceptions per game (.5); ranked fifth in the league in passes defended (12, .92 per game); tied a single-game team record with three picks against Iowa State; had 203 yards and a touchdown on interception returns.

Most recent ranking: No. 26 in the 2009 postseason player rankings.

Making the case for Sash: In two seasons, Sash has established himself as one of the nation's premier playmakers. He already holds the Iowa record for career interception return yards with 350, ranking fifth in Big Ten history. His 86-yard interception return for a touchdown following several pinball-like deflections against Indiana was one of the most memorable plays of the 2009 college football season. Sash, who played defensive back and wide receiver in high school, is always around the football and also helps in run support from the safety position. He earned consensus first-team All-Big Ten honors and third-team AP All-America honors, while finishing as a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award. Sash is the only Big Ten defensive back named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy preseason watch list, and he has also been named to the Lott Trophy watch list.

The rundown

  • No. 25: Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt

  • No. 24: Illinois RB Mikel LeShoure

  • No. 23: Iowa DT Karl Klug

  • No. 22: Northwestern LB Quentin Davie

  • No. 21: Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins

  • No. 20: Ohio State LB Brian Rolle

  • No. 19: Wisconsin QB Scott Tolzien

  • No. 18: Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi

  • No. 17: Ohio State WR DeVier Posey

  • No. 16: Wisconsin LB Chris Borland

  • No. 15: Wisconsin G/C John Moffitt

  • No. 14: Indiana WR Tandon Doss

  • No. 13: Purdue WR Keith Smith

  • No. 12: Ohio State LB Ross Homan

  • No. 11: Wisconsin LT Gabe Carimi

  • No. 10: Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan

  • No. 9: Ohio State G Justin Boren

  • No. 8: Penn State G/C Stefen Wisniewski

  • No. 7: Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor

  • No. 6: Penn State RB Evan Royster