It's June, and college football junkies are looking for something to do.
That usually means rankings of one kind or another, and that's exactly what Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN's NFL Draft expert, is doing right now. The draft guru is already looking ahead to the 2015 NFL Draft, and he's letting his fans — and college football fans in general — who the country's best players are.
The reason we're talking about it is that quite a lot of Big Ten players have been popping up on the top 5 lists ESPN's College GameDay Twitter account has been sharing over the past couple weeks.
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Unsurprisingly, Ohio State's Braxton Miller landed on Kiper's list of top senior quarterbacks, ranking third. Miller is expected to compete for the Heisman Trophy this season, probably the Big Ten's best shot at winning the award this year. Connor Cook, the Michigan State signal-caller, was ranked fourth among underclassmen QBs.
Big Ten running backs were also prominent in Kiper's summer rankings. Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah was the No. 1 senior back in the country, according to Kiper. Abdullah was very impressive a season ago, somehow quietly leading the Big Ten with 1,690 rush yards. He's joined on that list by Michigan State's Jeremy Langford, who ranked third. Wisconsin's junior back Melvin Gordon, who looked well on his way to a conference rushing title before some lackluster games in the middle of last season, was Kiper's No. 2 underclassman running back.
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Elsewhere in Kiper's rankings, players from Michigan State's defense unsurprisingly ranked highly. Defensive end Shilique Calhoun, cornerback Trae Waynes and safety Kurtis Drummond were all on the lists. Ohio State's Michael Bennett and Iowa's Carl Davis ranked first and second, respectively, on the list of top senior defensive tackles. And Northwestern got a mention, as Kiper picked Ibraheim Campbell as one of his top senior safeties.
Who knows if this is how things will pan out. Guys have disappointing years all the time, and even more often players come out of nowhere. Remember, too, that Kiper is always looking at things with an eye on the NFL Draft. The best player in college football might not be the best pro prospect and vice-versa, according to draft experts.
But it's June, and we need to talk college football.