Phil Steele has released his 2011 All-Big Ten selections with several Huskers being selected, including:
TE Kyler Reed - 1st team offense
DT Jared Crick - 1st team defense
DT Lavonte David - 1st team defense
CB Alfonzo Dennard - 1st team defense
No real surprises here. Maybe Reed, but when you look at what the Big Ten returns for tight ends, Reed is a pretty good choice. You have to believe that with the suspensions, Ohio State is going to use Jake Stoneburner more than they did last season.
DE Cameron Meredith - 2nd team defense
Burkhead will be a key contributor to 2011 success and belongs here. Note that both Wisconsin backs are listed as first and second teamers. Does Cameron Meredith deserve this selection? Again, looking at what the Big Ten is returning this season, yes.
At this point you should be paying attention to what's not there. No first or second-team selections from the offensive line or wide receiver units.
No Huskers made the third team.
QB Taylor Martinez - 4th team offense
WR Jamal Turner - 4th team offense
OT Jeremiah Sirles - 4th team offense
DT Baker Steinkuhler - 4th team defense
Interesting that Steele puts Jamal Turner on his fourth team. Here's a guy that hasn't played a down of college football, yet Steele has him on the list. Why?
I don't think it has as much to do with Turner's potential as it does with why Phil Steele bothers with a fourth team at all. Steele has a fourth team because this is the genuis of Phil Steele. By having a fourth team Steele covers his bases. He already spends about a quarter of his preseason mag telling you how accurate he is, and by having a fourth team, he's covering his bases.
If Turner blows up this year (we'd all like to see that), then next year Steele can remind you what a genius he was for having the foresight to include Turner on a preseason list. It's pure marketing genius. Jack Donaghy would be proud.
After perusing Phil Steele's list, I'm not quite sure what to make of it. First of all, I'm wondering why he created a 4th team list. That's like picking teams for an impromptu match of kickball and telling the last guy "We would've picked you first, but we decided to take the kid with one leg and brain damage instead." To me, it's shall we say, unnecessary? And why is T-Mart and Steinkuhler on that list? T-Mart hasn't proved that he's going to be able to handle the pressure that goes with being the starting QB and Baker, other than being a solid player, certainly has much more to prove. Someone stated the list is more about what ISN'T there than what IS. I agree with that statement entirely.
All that said, I think the first team picks of Lavonte David, Jared Crick, Alfonzo Dennard, and Kyler Reed are definitely good ones. Dennard is just straight money, David is "straight cash, Homey," Crick is a future 1st round draft pick, and Reed is probably the only TE worthy to on the first team in the entire Big Ten.
Burkhead and Meredith are good choices for 2nd team, but why no love for Courtney Osborne at all? He's proven that he's got a nose for the ball and loves to hit. Hell he laid Gabbert STFO. That alone is worth at least a 3rd team pick. What's up with that?
You'll notice that no one from our T-Gilly coached core of wide receivers or Barney "The Stache" Cotton's crack squad of offensive linemen made the 1st or 2nd team? Coincidence?
And last, how in the name of all that is chewy and good do you pick Dan"Yeah-I'm-From-Northwestern" Persa as your first team QB over Shoelace Robinson? Really Philip?