Kicking off Big Ten Football Media Days in Chicago Thursday, the conference announced its list of preseason players to watch list with two Spartans making the cut for the Legends Division — senior corner back Johnny Adams and junior defensive end William Gholston.
A panel of media members attending media days selected five players from each division for the second consecutive year. The conference no longer releases a preseason All-Big Ten team.
Adams, entering his third year as a starting corner, recorded 51 tackles, three interceptions and six pass breakups last season en route to being named first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and second-team by the media. The Akron, Ohio native also has been named to preseason watch lists for the Bednarik Award, Thorpe Award and Nagurski Trophy.
The 6-foot-7 Gholston adds to a long list of preseason honors after notching 70 tackles, 16 of which were for losses, and five sacks. He saved his best performance in 2011 for last as he piled up five tackles for loss and two sacks in MSU’s win over Georgia in the Outback Bowl. The Detroit product has been named to the Lombardi Award watch list and joins Adams on the lists for the Bednarik Award and Nagurski Trophy.
Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan and quarterback Denard Robinson along with Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead round out the Legends Division selections.
The Leaders Division players include: Ohio State defensive lineman John Simon and quarterback Braxton Miller, Purdue defensive tackle Kawann Short, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball and linebacker Chris Borland.