In addition, the media panel also named Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio commented on the selection of Jones as the conference's top returning player.
"Greg Jones is certainly deserving of this preseason honor," Dantonio said. "Greg has a great motor, plays with a relentless attitude and has the unique ability to make the guys around him play better. He has been our leading tackler for the last two years, but the most impressive thing about Greg is that he consistently plays at a high level. Greg is beginning to establish himself as one of the top linebackers, not only in this league but in the entire nation."
Interestingly, GoSpartans.net had a vote in the preseason poll and tabbed Pryor as the offensive player of the year and Jones as the defensive player of the year.
Jones has been named to 2009 preseason watch lists for three national awards: Butkus Award (top collegiate linebacker), Lombardi Award (college lineman of the year) and the Lott Trophy (defensive player of the year).
Source: Big Ten Sports Information and Michigan State Sports Information