Big Ten football preview: Who are the league's best newcomers?

Our Big Ten panel picks the new roster players who'll make an immediate impact.

Donnie Corley, WR, Michigan State - "Corley enrolled early and was the talk of the spring. He's expected to make the transition to star early in his Spartans career." -- Dave Berk, Spartan Digest

Blake Gilliken, P, Penn State - "Gillikin was a four-star prospect and the nation’s third-ranked punter, and, man, do the Nittany Lions need him. Walk-ons have been holding down the position since NCAA sanctions hit in 2012." -- Mark Brennan, Fight On State

Trey Sneed, RB, Rutgers - "Sneed earned a lot of playing time in spring practice. He is close to earning a spot in a solid running back rotation." -- Sam Hellman, Scarlet Report

Noah Fant, TE, Iowa - "From Omaha, Fant has a chance to make an immediate contribution due to the lack of depth at the position for the Hawkeyes. Fant also has the athleticism and strength to play right away as an inline blocker or downfield receiver." -- Derek Young, Hawkeye Insider

Dominic Thieman, WR, Illinois - "LB De'le Harding and DB Evan Jones also have the chance to compete early, but Thieman is polished player from a powerhouse prep program. He has a chance to crack a shaky receiver rotation." -- Jeremy Werner, Illini Inquirer

Austin Mack, WR, Ohio State - "The Buckeyes are thin on experience at WR, and Mack showed this spring that he has the talent to make an immediate impact. A four-star out of Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Luers, he could be the deep threat that Ohio State was missing in the 2015 passing attack." -- Ryan Ginn, Buckeye Sports Bulletin

Wade Lees, P, Maryland - "It may well be new Aussie punter/kicker Wade Lees, who replaces Terps' Down Under star specialist and graduated booter Brad Craddock. Lees starts from Day One at punter, a position that struggled badly in 2015." -- Keith Cavanaugh, Terrapin Times

Richard Lagow, QB, Indiana - "A junior college transfer who is part of the battle to replace Nate Sudfeld, Lagow is a big, strong QB that can make all the throws. He showed flashes in spring ball but was still learning the offense." -- Matt Weaver, Peegs

Lamar Jackson, DB, Nebraska - "The four-star product is physically ready to play right away and could help Nebraska not only on special teams, but in nickel and dime situations." -- Josh Harvey, Big Red Report

Rashan Gary, DT, Michigan - "Gary was the No. 1 overall prospect in 2016, and he'll see significant playing time as a freshman. He has the size of an NFL defensive lineman and the athleticism of a running back, so expect him to contribute right away." -- Bryan Matecun, The Michigan Insider

Anthony Lotti, P, Wisconsin - "Of the 25 commits in the class, Lotti was the only one signed with the intention of being a starter from Day One. With UW's challenging schedule, Lotti needs to deliver." -- Benjamin Worgull, Badger Nation

Carter Couglin, LB, Minnesota - "Minnesota inked the top player in the state last season, and he's also the No. 1 linebacker in the Midwest. Defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel can't wait to unleash Carter in multiple ways on the field this fall." -- Ryan Burns, Gopher Illustrated

J.D. Dellinger, K, Purdue - "The Boilermakers were 1 of 6 on field goals from 30 or more yards last season. Dellinger, a 4-star prospect, will try to solve this problem right away." -- Bryan Matecun, Boiler Sports Report

Ben Skowronek, WR, Northwestern "The confident and sure-handed Skowronek, a former Scout three-star from Fort Wayne, Indiana, will have plenty of opportunity to help the 'Cats' drop-happy receiving corps." — Mike Olson, Purple Wildcats


Big Red Report Top Stories