CHICAGO — Kenny Mullen and Lawrence Barnett, both of Bishop Luers, started games last season at Indiana.
Bishop Dwenger graduate Landon Feichter was a factor in the secondary for Purdue.
There were other players from Fort Wayne school making contributions at Big Ten schools outside the state.
TyQuan Hammock, from Bishop Luers, played in 13 games as a sophomore at Michigan State, primarily on special teams. He had 11 tackles, including five on kickoff return. The linebacker posted a career-high five tackles and forced a fumble against Central Michigan.
Tyris Jones, a Concordia product, had 19 carries for 69 yards at Northwestern. He caught one pass for one yard, a touchdown against Eastern Illinois. He enters his senior season.
Rod Smith, from Harding, had 29 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown last year as a freshman for Ohio State.
Ohio State players are not letting the lack of a bowl game get in the way of how they prepare for the season.
“Totally blocked out,” Ohio State fullback Zach Boren said at Big Ten media day Friday at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. “We haven’t even thought about it. As a team, I don’t think people realize.”
The Buckeyes cannot play in a bowl this season as part of sanctions handed down by the NCAA.
“Honestly, it hadn’t crossed my mind until I started answering questions here about that. I just think we want to get back on the right track and get back to our winning ways.”
The Big Ten – and specifically the Leaders Division – features three new coaches. Urban Meyer takes over at Ohio State, Tim Beckman is in charge at Illinois and Bill O’Brien at Penn State.
Wisconsin’s Montee Ball has the chance to be just the second player to earn Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honor in consecutive years. The other – Indiana’s Anthony Thompson (1988-89). The award started in 1982.