Spartans Get "Some" Respect

Phil Steele is back with his Preseason All-Big Ten Team and while it's not loaded with Spartans, there are a few that picked up some recognition.

It's no surprise that Michigan State senior linebacker Greg Jones made Phil Steele's 1st Team All-Big Ten defensive squad. But what might surprise you are where some of the other Spartans are listed.

It's a given that Greg Jones will be considered a strong All-American candidate for his senior season. Jones has made himself known very well by those who follow the Big Ten and Michigan State. But what are surprising are some of the names who made it and some who did not.

Out of the 112 spots on the four teams on both offense and defense, Michigan State placed players at 12 positions.

The only Spartan to earn a place on the 1st team offense was Keshawn Martin who earned both the punt and kick returner spots.

The Spartans don't see any offensive spots taken until the 3rd team is listed as Kirk Cousins, Larry Caper, Keith Nichol, Charlie Gantt and Joel Foreman all are placed there with no Spartan listed on the 4th team.

While it's hard to argue for any Spartan offensive players to move to the 1st team, seeing Kirk Cousins behind Ricky Stanzi makes one scratch their head. The junior to be quarterback completed a higher percentage of passes for more yards, touchdowns and fewer interceptions.

While it's easy to look at the quarterback spot, the same must be said for the wide receiver position. Keith Nichol is not a proven wide receiver in the conference but still made 3rd team honors over B.J. Cunningham. While both players are on the same team, it kind of makes you look harder at the other selections made by Steele

On the defensive side of the ball Jones is the only first team selection and it's hard to really say any other Spartan should be considered based on their performance from last season.

On the second team the Spartans placed Jerel Worthy, Eric Gordon and Aaron Bates. All are worthy of the honors.

The only other Spartan to make the cut was Chris L. Rucker who earned a spot on the forth team. While it's hard to move Rucker any higher, I do feel he's ready for a breakout season that will see him placed higher at the end of the season.

Overall Iowa placed the most on the team with nineteen with Ohio State right behind with seventeen. Ohio State placed the most on the first team with nine players while Minnesota and Michigan didn't place any players on the first team.

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