The B1G is absolutely loaded at the defensive end position. It seems like just about every team in the conference has an excellent pass-rusher on the field.
But which one is the best? That’s a hard question with so many talented names in the league.
BTN college football analyst Stanley Jackson is going in on the reigning B1G Defensive Lineman of the Year, though. He says Michigan State’s Kenny Willekes is the top dog at the position.
“I guarantee you, every quarterback in the conference knows Kenny Willekes,” Jackson said. “He is a special football player. He is the most versatile. He can play the edge, he can play the interior, you could probably put him at linebacker. He is that athletic.”
Willekes was a dominant force on one of the best defensive units in college football last season. He tallied 8.5 sacks, 20.5 tackles for loss and 12 quarterback hurries last season.
He did suffer a broken leg at the end of last season in the Redbox Bowl, so there is a bit of a question mark regarding his recovery. But when he’s at full strength, Willekes is arguably the best defensive end in the country.
“He is a game changer,” Jackson said. “You think about some of their games last year, and he made plays at the end, similar to Joey Bosa a couple years ago. He’s a guy I expect to have a huge season this year.”
Also in the conversation would be Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa, Ohio State’s Chase Young, Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos and Northwestern’s Joe Gaziano.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) August 21, 2019