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June 4, 2010The Big Ten returns a number of its elite defensive players in 2010, including six on this list that were named either first- or second-team all-conference a year ago. While there are many great defenders, in the eyes of our panel of voters, there are two elite performers - Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones and Iowa defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn ?
GoldandBlack.com's Brian Neubert, Orange&BlueNews.com's Jeff Johnson, SpartanMag.com's Matt Dorsey, BadgerBlitz.com's Tom Lea, BlueWhiteIllustrated.com's Nate Bauer, HawkeyeReport.com's Tom Kakert, BuckeyeGrove.com's Kevin Noon, TheWolverine.com's Michael Spath, GopherIllustrated.com's Matt O'Connell and WildcatReport.com's Louie Vaccher contributed to this feature.
Here is how it worked. Each site cast a ballot with its top 10 defensive players. A first-place vote garnered 10 points, a second-plate vote nine points and so on. We added the point totals up and ranked them accordingly.
Coming in the next few days and weeks: the breakout players, rookie impact performers and MVPs for all 11 teams, plus best games and much, much more.
This is how it breaks down if interested: four defensive linemen, three linebackers, two cornerbacks and a safety. Ohio State and Iowa each led the field with three defenders while Purdue, Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan State each had one.