Big Ten rankings: No. 18, Kirk Cousins

The 2010 Big Ten postseason player rankings continue with ...

No. 18: Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State, Jr., 6-3, 202

2010 numbers: Completed 226 of 338 attempts for 2,825 yards with 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions; added a rushing touchdown against Purdue; ranked fifth in the Big Ten in both passing average (217.3 ypg) and pass efficiency (150.7, 18th nationally); Big Ten Sportsmanship Award winner and honorable mention All-Big Ten.

Preseason rank: No. 21 in the preseason Top 25 players

Why he's here: Cousins took another step forward and guided Michigan State to its first Big Ten championship in two decades. He passed for 200 yards or more in seven games and put together one of the best statistical seasons in team history, ranking among the Spartans' top 10 in completion percentage (second at 66.9), pass completions (third with 226), passing yards (third with 2,825), touchdown passes (tied for fourth with 20), total offense (fourth with 2,689 yards) and pass attempts (sixth with 338). Perhaps more impressive was the fact he played the second half of the season with a sprained shoulder and a sprained ankle.

A co-captain for the second consecutive season, Cousins was a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award. He earned Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors after engineering a come-from-behind win against Northwestern (331 pass yards, 3 TDs) and fought through shoulder problems to lead a dramatic comeback against Purdue. He was brilliant in the second half of Michigan State's signature win against Wisconsin and turned in efficient performances in victories against Michigan and Penn State.