Phil Steele's Preseason All-Big Ten Team

If you're as passionate about college football as I am, you love the preseason rags that make their way onto newsstands around early June every year. It's an early sign that college football is just around the corner. One of the best mags out there, if not the best, is Phil Steele's College Football Preview. There is more info packed onto each page than one could possibly care to read...but it's good to know it's there.

The 2012 preview issue drops in about 2 weeks.

On their blog yesterday, they released their preseason All-Big Ten teams for 2012. Here's the breakdown of Michigan players that made the lists.

1st Team:
QB Denard Robinson
WR Roy Roundtree
OT: Taylor Lewan

2nd Team:
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint
LB Kenny Demens
CB JT Floyd
S Jordan Kovacs

3rd Team:
OG Patrick Omameh
DE Craig Roh
PR Jeremy Gallon

4th Team:
WR Jeremy Gallon
S Thomas Gordon

Bullets? Bullets.
• A little surprised to see Roy Roundtree make it onto the first team. Don't get me wrong, he's a fine receiver, but his 2011 stats hardly warrant all-Big Ten status. I guess it's a testament to the writers at Phil Steele liking the off-season move from slot to wideout, which I think will benefit Roundtree immensely his senior year.

• Denard belongs on the first team. I can't imagine anyone disputing that. Even with Denard's struggles with passing at times, he's still a dynamic player worthy of the top spot. The Big Ten lost a few of it's traditional drop-back passers last year. Interesting that the top 4 – Robinson, Braxton Miller, Taylor Martinez and Nathan Scheelhaase are all mobile quarterbacks. A snub of Iowa's James Vandenberg? Possibly. But I'd say he's interchangeable with Scheelhaase for the 4th spot.

• If Taylor Lewan takes that next step in his development and has the type of season a 6-8, 300 pound junior left tackle at Michigan should have, I expect we'll be seeing him take his talents to the next level after this year. He's already projected one of the top left tackles in the 2013 draft. Michigan could end up being called "Left Tackle U" is this trend continues.

• Fitz, Demens and Kovacs are solid 2nd teamers. I'm a little surprised to see Floyd on the 2nd team and Blake Countess and Courtney Avery not listed at all. It's very possible that JT Floyd might be 2nd on the depth chart come September...and possibly Demens as well.

It's very likely, based on what I see, that they value experience higher than overall skill. Hence the absence of LB Jake Ryan from any team. He'll be a first-teamer next year, just watch.

• The top of Big Ten RB heap is pretty solid with Burkhead and Ball. Fitz is a great back, but the league is pretty stacked with good RBs this season. I can any of the top 6 guys in this group being the top back in the league when the season ends.

• 3rd and 4th teams are basically honorable mention. So Omameh, Roh, Gallon and TGordon fit well here. But again, I think Jake Ryan belong at least in this group. Have to think he was simply overlooked.

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