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June 18, 2012

Ranking the Big Ten: Return men

As Nebraska moves into its second season in the Big Ten Conference, HuskerOnline.com will get you ready with ranking analysis pieces breaking down each position in the league. Today, we look at the return men position in the Big Ten heading into 2012.

1. Jared Abberderis, Wisconsin, 6-2, 180, Jr.
Junior Jared Abbrederis is not only Wisconsin's top wide receiver, he's also one of the top overall return men in the country. Abbrederis led the Big Ten in punt returns with a 15.8-yard average while also picking up an average of 24.6 yards per kickoff return in 2011. His ability to give the Badgers consistently good field position will only further an already potent offensive attack.
2. Venric Mark , Northwestern, 5-8, 175, Jr.
Northwestern's Venric Mark is another player who excelled as both a kickoff and punt returner last year. He averaged 15.9 yards on punt returns and 22.9 yards on kickoff returns last year as a true sophomore, and showed he could make a huge difference flipping field position for the Wildcats.
3. Raheem Mostert , Purdue, 5-11, 180, So.
Purdue's Raheem Mostert exploded onto the scene last year as a true freshman, as he came in and led the nation with a 33.5-yard average on kickoff returns and returned one kick back for a touchdown. He only handled kickoff returns last season, but there's a chance the Boilermakers might add punt returns to his duties in order to get the ball in his hands as much as possible.
4. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska, 5-9, 195, So.
It took all of two games for Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah to emerge as one of the best kickoff returners in the country as a true freshman. Abdullah, who finished ninth nationally in kickoff return average and earned first-team All-Big Ten honors, exploded onto the scene by setting a school record with 211 return yards against Fresno State, including a 100-yard return for a score. He was also the Huskers' leading punt returner, averaging 7.1 yards on 15 returns.
5. Jordan Hall, Ohio State, 5-9, 195, Sr.
Senior Jordan Hall will easily be one of new head coach Urban Meyer's top playmakers this season, and is arguably at his best in the return game. After averaging 26.3 yards per kickoff return and 5.8 yards on punts, Hall will be counted on in a big way to help provide the Buckeyes with a few sparks in the return game.

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