When you think of great Big Ten safeties in recent years, you have to think about guys like Bob Sanders, players who make an impact on every down and players who make highlight reels week in and week out with their efforts. The Big Ten usually has a pretty consistent contingent of high-impact safeties, something that could be seriously lacking in 2011.
ESPN Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg recently ranked the top safeties in the Big Ten, and I was quite surprised to see who topped his list, and just how poor this group of players is as it relates to some of the recent safeties to come out of the conference.
According to Rittenberg, the best safety in the Big Ten is Michigan State’s Trenton Robinson. Robinson is a fine player who had four interceptions to go along with 76 stops last season, but he was only a 2nd Team All-Big Ten selection. You mean to tell me he is the best safety in the entire conference?
The top rated Ohio State safety in this group is Tyler Moeller, who is coming off of an injury. Moeller barely played at all last season, yet he is ranked as the third best safety in the conference. Again, this is not a roast of Rittenberg’s rankings, but it’s quite eye opening that an injured player ranks third in the conference among two separate positions.
One other surprising ranking was Micah Hyde, a player who started for the Iowa Hawkeyes at cornerback last season, and is simply being tried out at safety this offseason due to the Hawkeyes losing both starters to the NFL and graduation.