After addressing the defensive lineman last week, we are finally onto my favorite position on the football field. Let’s take a look at this year’s most promising Big Ten linebackers.

There aren’t many positions in the game of football where a player is asked to do more than at linebacker. It’s important that today’s linebackers are nimble like safeties to help in coverage but sturdy enough to take on blocks from opposing lineman. Mental toughness and discipline are also required to diagnose and react to plays as they happen.

We see in the NFL today that good linebackers (see the Jacksonville Jaguars) can turn a defense into a championship contender. It works the same way at the college level, especially in the Big Ten.

In this conference, run games dominate when teams aren’t spreading the field out. The Big Ten lost top linebackers Josey Jowell and Jerome Baker to the NFL draft, so today we rank those ready to replace them.

1. T.J. Edwards, Senior, Wisconsin

T.J. Edwards does it all for a Wisconsin defense that was not only best in the conference, but one of the best in the nation.

Edwards played the run just as well as you would want from any linebacker, notching 81 tackles with 11 behind the line of scrimmage. He also proved that he can be a three-down linebacker by looking more than comfortable in coverage, and picking off four passes.

Edwards returning for his senior year is a major boost to the Badger defense that looks to have great potential in 2018.

2. Joe Bachie, Junior, Michigan State

Another play-maker makes this list, as Joe Bachie flew around the field for the Spartans in 2017.

Bachie was a big reason why it was difficult to run down the middle against Michigan State, as he found and filled holes very often. He filled the stat sheet to the tune of 100 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss (3.5 sacks), two forced fumbles, and three interceptions.

That’s really all that needs to be said, the kid lives around the ball.

3. Devin Bush, Junior, Michigan

You don’t have to travel too far from East Lancing to find our next guy, Devin Bush. Often playing in the shadow of fellow Michigan linebacker Mike McCray, it was Bush’s play that shined bright.

Bush excels at rushing the passer from the second level, bringing down opposing quarterbacks five and a half times in 2017. The junior was an all-around talent for the Wolverine defense, totaling 102 tackles, one interception, and nine passes defended.

With McCray gone, Bush has the potential to fly up this list.

Sleeper: Malik Harrison Sophomore Ohio State

There’s a pair of backers out of Rutgers that I would have loved to slot here because they are in fact pretty good. One reason I can’t is that both of these players ranked top five in tackles in the conference which means they technically aren’t sleepers. They also play on a Rutgers defense, which means they have 1000 opportunities per game to rack up plenty of tackles due to the nonexistent offense.

Anywho, Malik Harrison slides right in here after he showed an ample amount of potential as a true freshman. Harrison filled in for the injured Dante Booker last season and played the part for a true freshman. He actually never quite gave the job back as the season went on, which means he’s the favorite to start in 2018.

If that happens, look for the rising sophomore to improve as one of the better players at his position.

 

For quality up-to-date sports reporting, visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Author Details
Content Creator , The Armchair All-Americans LLC
My name’s James King, and I’m a 22-year-old Sports Journalism major at the almighty Rutgers University. I’m from central New Jersey (yes it exists) right on the beach in a town called Neptune. I grew up playing baseball and football, but being 5’7” and deficient of speed doesn’t get you much after high school graduation. My passion for sports and obvious deep love for keyboards has brought me to this lovely place here. I bleed green for my beloved New York Jets (it will sound good one day, just wait). The Boston Celtics and Red Sox hold the other two-thirds of my sports heart. With that said, you can usually find me kicked back somewhere with a brew giving my usually disagreeable sports opinions.
×
Content Creator , The Armchair All-Americans LLC
My name’s James King, and I’m a 22-year-old Sports Journalism major at the almighty Rutgers University. I’m from central New Jersey (yes it exists) right on the beach in a town called Neptune. I grew up playing baseball and football, but being 5’7” and deficient of speed doesn’t get you much after high school graduation. My passion for sports and obvious deep love for keyboards has brought me to this lovely place here. I bleed green for my beloved New York Jets (it will sound good one day, just wait). The Boston Celtics and Red Sox hold the other two-thirds of my sports heart. With that said, you can usually find me kicked back somewhere with a brew giving my usually disagreeable sports opinions.
Latest Posts

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.