1- Leon Hall, Senior, Michigan
2- Malcolm Jenkins, Sophomore, Ohio State
3- Justin King, Sophomore, Penn State
4- Allen Langford, Sophomore, Wisconsin
5- Marquice Cole, Senior, Northwestern
6- Jack Ikegwuonu, Sophomore, Wisconsin
7- Tracy Porter, Junior, Indiana
8- Adam Shada, Junior, Iowa
9- Morgan Trent, Sophomore, Michigan
10-Charles Godfrey, Junior, Iowa
Also watch for:
Charles Stewart, Sophomore, Michigan
Alan Ball, Senior, Illinois
Andre Amos, Freshman, Ohio State
Tony Davis, Sophomore, Penn State
Demond Williams, Senior, Michigan State
Jamal Harris, Junior, Minnesota
Many of the Big Ten teams are looking to patch holes their secondaries after the conference lost 19 starters to the NFL or graduation. This mass exodus has left many first time starters at the cornerback positions around the league. One player who is no stranger to seeing playing time tops the list…Michigan’s Leon Hall. Hall has contributed since his freshman year and became a full time starter as a sophomore. He now enters his third year starting for the Wolverines. Hall has the experience, size, and speed to go along with his four interceptions from last year. He is a primed to have an excellent senior ca,paign.
Leading the list of young but talented cornerbacks in the Big Ten is Ohio State’s Malcolm Jenkins. Jenkins quickly rose up the depth chart last year as a true freshman and started several games for the Buckeyes. In those games, Jenkins played very well and will be counted on to carry those performances over to this season. He is the only returning starter for the Ohio State secondary.
Another young player who is sure to be a good one in years to come is Penn State’s Justin King. Despite a Michigan turf greeting by Mario Manningham at mid-season, King showed he has the athletic ability to be a star cornerback. It may take some time, but expect King to be one of the Big Ten’s before all is said and done.
Wisconsin’s Allen Langford and Jack Ikegwuonu both played as freshman last year, with Langford making a considerable amount of starts. Langford shows a lot of instinct for a young player and Ikegwuonu showed his ball skills off last year with three interceptions. Northwestern’s Marquice Cole is the Wildcats top defensive back. He lacks great size but helps make up for it with his speed. Cole had five interceptions in 2005. Indiana’s Tracy Porter is one of the fastest players in the league and has NFL potential if he becomes a more complete cornerback. Iowa’s Adam Shada and Charles Godfrey take over for the departed Jovon Johnson and Antwan Allen. Both have height, athletic ability and some game experience. Shada intercepted three passes last year. Michigan’s Morgan Trent is an excellent athlete and is Michigan’s most experienced back up, but he was outplayed by Charles Stewart and Johnny Sears during the spring. He will need to have a strong fall to take over the cornerback job opposite Hall.