Big Ten Media Days kicks off this morning in Chicago, and while the conference doesn’t run official preseason polls or predictions, that doesn’t mean there isn’t some positive buzz centering around some of Ohio State’s players.
The league announced Monday morning that Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett and linebacker Raekwon McMillan were both named to the conference’s annual preseason honors list. The league doesn’t do an all-conference preseason team the way we’re accustomed to other conference’s doing.
Michigan’s lone representative, Jabrill Peppers, joins Barrett and McMillan representing the East division.
Here’s the complete 2016 preseason honors list:
Jabrill Peppers, Jr., LB/DB, Michigan
Malik McDowell, Jr., DL, Michigan State
J.T. Barrett, Jr., QB, Ohio State
Raekwon McMillan, Jr., LB, Ohio State
Saquon Barkley, So., RB, Penn State
C.J. Beathard, Sr., QB, Iowa
Desmond King, Sr., DB, Iowa
Justin Jackson, Jr., RB, Northwestern
Anthony Walker Jr., Jr., LB, Northwestern
Corey Clement, Sr., RB, Wisconsin
In lieu of the league doing so, the Cleveland Plain Dealer runs an unofficial media poll predicting conference standings, as well as the winner of the Big Ten Player of the Year awards. After counting up the ballots, Barrett was their preseason pick to win the Offensive Player of the Year award, and it wasn’t even especially close.
Voters were asked to give their top three candidates.
Barrett earned 34 first place votes, and 110 total votes, easily outstripping Penn State’s Saquon Barkley, who had three first place votes.
On the defensive side of the ball, Peppers was their leading vote getter.
If Ohio State is going to be successful this season, despite losing an enormous amount of talent to the NFL Draft, Barrett and McMillan will be huge reasons why. If nothing else, it’s clear they have the respect of much of the Big Ten press corps.