College football preview 2016: Who'll be the Big Ten's breakout players?

Scout's Big Ten panel believes these players are poised to have a monster 2016.

Vayante Copeland, CB, Michigan State - "Copeland was on the verge of being talked about as one of the best corners in the country when he was injured (fractured vertebrae) in the second game of the 2015 season. Back and cleared, Copeland is ready to become a star." -- Dave Berk, Spartan Digest

Saeed Bladknall, WR, Penn State - "Blacknall has outstanding physical tools. At 6-2, 215, he ran the second-fastest 40-yard dash on the team last winter (4.4). He also posted a 4.04 NFL shuttle. He followed that up with what was by all accounts an outstanding spring. With Geno Lewis having transferred, 2015 leading receiver Chris Godwin a bit slowed by offseason surgery and 2014 leading receiver DaeSean Hamilton making the move from outside receiver to the slot, Blacknall stepped up in big-time fashion." -- Mark Brennan, Fight On State

Najee Clayton, LB, Rutgers - "Clayton moved from safety to linebacker to fill the hybrid SAM role Ash made famous at previous stops with Arkansas and Ohio State. Clayton is a hard hitter. You'll see him on plenty of highlight reels by the end of the 2016 season and he has the potential to lead Rutgers in tackles." -- Sam Hellman, Scarlet Report

George Kittle, TE, Iowa - "He was a touchdown-maker a year ago, and now he'll see the field even more due to the Hawkeyes having no other proven commodities at the position. Combine that with a terrific quarterback and unproven wide receiver unit and it should be a lot of targets for Kittle this season." -- Derek Young, Hawkeye Insider

Malik Turner, WR, Illinois - "Another ACL tear for Mikey Dudek means Turner needs to consistently step up as the No. 1 wideout. The big, physical, athletic target showed great flashes at the end of his sophomore season." -- Jeremy Werner, Illini Inquirer

Noah Brown, WR, Ohio State - "Brown was expected to be one of Ohio State's best receivers in 2015 after a breakout spring performance but broke his leg in fall practice. If healthy he could end up being one of the top performers on the team and possibly in the conference." -- Ryan Ginn, Buckeye Sports Bulletin

Wes Brown, RB, Maryland - "It may well be a somewhat familiar name, but Brown has resurrected turbulent UMD career, and shined this spring at a spot looking for a new go-to guy." -- Keith Cavanaugh, Terrapin Times

Nick Westbrook, WR, Indiana - "Westbrook played last fall as a true freshman and provided flashes of why the staff is so high on him. With a year under his belt in the offense he could have a breakout season this fall." -- Matt Weaver, Peegs

Stanley Morgan, WR, Nebraska - "As a true freshman in 2015, Morgan had 20+ catches and punt returned for the first time in his career. He will benefit from 1-on-1 coverages in a stacked position group." -- Josh Harvey, Big Red Report

John O'Korn, QB, Michigan - "If O'Korn earns the starting quarterback job, then he could be poised for a breakout season. He was effective with Houston before transferring, and the improvement that Jake Rudock showed last season under this coaching staff should make fans excited." -- Bryan Matecun, The Michigan Insider

Ryan Ramczyk, LT, Wisconsin - "Sitting out last season after transferring from Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the junior is described as a 'freak' athlete by his coaches and teammates." -- Benjamin Worgull, Badger Nation

Jonathan Celestin, LB, Minnesota - "The Georgia junior linebacker was behind now Atlanta Falcon De'Vondre Campbell for two years, and now is his time to shine. I wouldn't be surprised at all to see him be top three in tackles for the Golden Gophers this fall." -- Ryan Burns, Gopher Illustrated

David Blough, QB, Purdue - "Blough struggled at times last season, but with Austin Appleby gone, he will be the sole man under center for the Boilermakers this season. With a year under his belt, fans should see improvement." -- Bryan Matecun, Boiler Sports Report

Austin Carr, WR, Northwestern - "The former walk-on caught just 16 passes for 300+ yards last year, but had a penchant for the clutch catch. (Most of his receptions went for touchdowns or first downs.) The 'Cats can't be as run-oriented as they were last year, so expect the senior Carr will be the No. 1 target as they air it out more this season." — Mike Olson, Purple Wildcats

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