Three MSU football players named to Athlon Sports preseason All-Big Ten Team
Three MSU football players were awarded preseason All-Conference Team honors on Tuesday by Athlon Sports.
Athlon mentioned in its release that the selection for each team is based on how players are projected to perform in 2017. Career statistics and previous accolades are taken into consideration for the evaluation, but is largely based on prognostications for the upcoming season.
Senior center Brian Allen brings in MSU's only first-team selection. MSU Athletic Communications announced on May 22 that Allen has been named to the Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List, an award that annually recognizes the most outstanding center in college football — despite only making four career starts at center.
Allen enters the upcoming season starting in 14 consecutive games and started at three positions last year — left guard, right guard and center. Allen led the team with twice as many knockdowns as any other lineman on the team.
Junior running back LJ Scott was named to the All-Big Ten second team. Last season Scott appeared in all 12 games for MSU and led the Spartans in the rushing game with 994 yards on 184 attempts and six touchdowns.
Senior linebacker Chris Frey rounds out the list for the Spartans and garnered a third team honor. Frey also played in all 12 games last season and tallied 96 total tackles — four of which for loss and half a sack. Frey also forced one fumble and was credited with seven quarterback hurries.
Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan are all featured in Athlon's preseason top-25, with the Buckeyes hosting 14 players to the All-Big Ten Team, followed by the Nittany Lions and the Badgers with 12 selections each, and the Wolverines with nine picks. Additionally, Iowa had 10 players selected and Northwestern had 11 players named to the preseason list.
The Spartans will open up the season with four-straight games at Spartan Stadium, beginning with Bowling Green Sept. 2. MSU will also host Western Michigan University, Notre Dame and Iowa in the season-opening home stand.