Top five newcomers to watch for in the Big Ten
Angelique S. Chengelis of The Detroit News offers her top five newcomers to watch for this season in the Big Ten.
Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan: OK, so technically Patterson isn’t a newcomer, but he IS a newcomer to the Big Ten. Patterson transferred to Michigan from Ole Miss last December and very quickly the hype machine was generated. He has gone through a spring and preseason camp with the Wolverines, and from all accounts has shined. He made 10 starts at Ole Miss, including three as a freshman in 2016. A knee injury cut short his season last year. He had completed 63.8 percent of his passes for 2,259 yards, 17 touchdowns — Michigan had nine passing touchdowns all of last season — and nine interceptions in 2017.
Adrian Martinez, QB, Nebraska: The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder was rated four stars and had been committed to Cal and then Tennessee before becoming coach Scott Frost’s first quarterback recruit. He impressed in the spring game showing off a strong arm and his ability as a runner. Martinez is the first trust freshman at Nebraska to start the season opener.
Esezi Otomewo, DE, Minnesota: Otomewo is a 6-6, 270-pound redshirt freshman who is notable as a pass rusher. He is expected to be a contributor this season for the Gophers. “Guys, I’m telling you, he is a special, special player,” P.J. Fleck told reporters. “He’s going to have some growing pains, highs, lows, but he is special. “His how meter — his motor goes now, and we need him to be able to help us. Now, is he going to be an every down player, probably not, but we finally have a little bit of depth where we can help him out, where we don’t have to fit that square peg into a round hole.”
Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State: Parson was an early enrollee and the highest rated of the Penn State recruiting class. He was the highest-rated Penn State signee since Derrick Williams in 2005 and was heralded nationally as a defensive end. But Penn State coach James Franklin moved him to linebacker because of the depth the Nittany Lions have at defensive end. Parson could start, but definitely will get playing time this fall.
Tyrone Tracy, WR, Iowa: The 6-1, 190-pound Tracy was recruited as an athlete who could play running back or receiver, and has a skillset the Hawkeyes haven’t had in a while. The Hawkeyes like him in the slot. He likely also will get a look in the kick-return game. Tracy was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Indiana last year. He rushed for 1,412 yards, 13 touchdowns, and he had 54 receptions for 1,132 yards and 17 touchdowns. He set records at Decatur Central for career touchdowns (72), including 33 receiving touchdowns.