B1G's Top five returning QBs

Over the next few weeks, a panelist of Scout.com Big Ten reporters will be breaking down the conference position-by-position. First up, the quarterback position.

Over the next few weeks, a panelist of Scout.com Big Ten reporters will be breaking down the conference position-by-position.

Today we start the quarterback spot, where Ohio State's Braxton Miller is the runaway No. 1 signal-caller voted on by the panel. Miller received seven of the nine first-place votes. Penn State sophomore Christian Hackenberg received the other two first-place tallies.

The reporters were asked to rank the top five, with five points going to the No. 1 spot, four to No. 2, three to No. 3, and so on.

Braxton Miller

1.) Sr. Braxton Miller, Ohio State: 43 points (7 first-place votes)
Milller somewhat struggled down the stretch and was limited in the spring due to an shoulder injury he sustained in the Orange bowl, but returns as arguably one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. Entering his third year in Urban Meyer's system, Miller could make a big jump in 2014. The biggest knock on the Ohio native so far in his career has been his consistency. With familiarity of the offense, he should start to become better in the area.

2013 Stats: 162-225, for 2,094 yards and 24 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. 171 carries for 1068 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns.

Christian Hackenberg

2.) So. Christian Hackenberg, Penn State: 31 points (2 first-place votes)
One of the most sought after recruits in the 2013 class, Hackenberg didn't disappoint Penn State fans in year one - winning the starting job as a true freshman and throwing for nearly 3,000 yards. Hackenberg's development under new head coach James Franklin will likely be one of the more interesting storylines this fall heading into the Big Ten. If he makes the big jump that a lot of sophomores do after their freshman year, Hackenberg will be one of the better pocket passing quarterbacks in the country.

2013 Stats: 231-392, for 2,955 yards and 20 touchdowns to 10 interceptions.

Connor Cook

3.) Jr. Connor Cook, Michigan State: 30 points
Cook was 12-1 as a starter in 2013, getting stronger as the season went on. In four of his last six games, the Ohio native threw for over 250 yards a contest, beating Michigan (rivalry game), Ohio State, and Stanford in the process. Cook is working with quarterback guru coach George Whitfield this offseason, the same quarterback tutor of Andrew Luck, Johnny Manziel, and (Baylor) Bryce Petty.

2013 Stats: 223-380, for 2,755 yards and 22 touchdowns to just six interceptions.

Devin Gardner

4.) Sr. Devin Gardner, Michigan: 20 points
Last year Gardner might have found himself much higher on the list, but was inconsistent – especially in three of Michigan's six losses. Still not 100 percent from a season ending injury last year, Gardner didn't have the greatest spring according to reports. The senior completed just two of his 10 pass attempts in the Wolverines' spring game.

2013 Stats: 208-345, for 2,960 yards and 21 touchdowns to 11 interceptions.

5.) Jr. Nate Sudfeld and Jr. Tre Robinson, Indiana: 6 points
The Indiana combination combined for over 3,600 yards in 2013, throwing 36 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. The spring was about trying to find a clear-cut starter, but according to reports the competition will extend into the fall. On the surface, it appears Kevin Wilson could be headed for another two-quarterback system in 2014.

Other QBs receiving votes: Jake Rudock - Iowa, C.J. Brown - Maryland, Tommy Armstrong - Nebraska

The voter panel: Mark Brennan – FightOnState.com, Ben Worgull – BadgeNation.com, Brice Marich – GopherDigest.com, Josh Harvey – BigRedReport.com, Mike Wilson – SpartanDigest.com, Jeff Svoboda – BuckeyeSports.com, Sam Hellman – ScarletReport.com, Rob Howe – HawkeyeInsider.com

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