Big Ten fills up Rotary Lombardi watch list

Any doubt that the Big Ten's strength this season is at or near the line of scrimmage can be put to rest.

The Rotary Lombardi Award preseason watch list is absolutely loaded with Big Ten players: 12 of them, to be exact. The award goes to "down linemen, end-to-end, either on offense or defense, who set up no farther than 10 yards to the left or right of the ball, or linebackers who set up no farther than 5 yards deep from the line of scrimmage."

As we all know, the Big Ten boasts plenty of players who fit the description.

Here's who made the list:

  • Iowa junior defensive end Broderick Binns

  • Ohio State senior guard Justin Boren

  • Wisconsin sophomore linebacker Chris Borland

  • Wisconsin senior left tackle Gabe Carimi

  • Iowa senior defensive end Adrian Clayborn

  • Ohio State senior defensive lineman Cameron Heyward

  • Ohio State senior linebacker Ross Homan

  • Michigan State senior linebacker Greg Jones

  • Purdue senior defensive end Ryan Kerrigan

  • Wisconsin senior tight end Lance Kendricks

  • Wisconsin senior guard John Moffitt

  • Penn State senior guard Stefen Wisniewski

In some ways, I'd be surprised if a Big Ten player doesn't win the Rotary Lombardi Award.

The list eventually will be cut to 12 semifinalists, and the winner will be announced in early December in Houston.

Michigan's LaMarr Woodley was the last Big Ten recipient of the award in 2006.