Ranked: The Best Defensive Backs in the Big Ten

By Matthew Filipovits on August 29, 2017 at 8:04 am
Nov 28, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Northwestern Wildcats safety Godwin Igwebuike (16) breaks up a pass intended for Illinois Fighting Illini wide receiver Malik Turner (11) during the second half at Soldier Field. Northwestern won 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

6. Kieron Williams, Nebraska

2016 Stats
Tackles INT PBU
59 5 7

Williams is tied with Northwestern's Montre Hartage as the leading returning interception men in the entire conference with 5 in 2016. Entering his senior season, Williams will continue to be a force outside for the Huskers.

5. d'cota dixon, wisconsin

2016 Stats
Tackles INT PBU
60 4 8

Dixon returns to anchor the secondary of one of 2016's best defenses. Other than the Big Ten Championship Game, the Badger secondary held every opponent under 280 yards passing and held seven opponents to less than 200 passing yards. Look for Dixon to be even more physical and aggressive in his final season.

4. denzel ward, ohio state

2016 Stats
Tackles INT PBU
23 0 9

With Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley going in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Buckeyes will look to Ward. Despite having zero career starts, Ward is the most experienced defensive back for Urban Meyer. He is one of the fastest defensive backs you will see, which makes him next to impossible stretch the field against.

3. rashad fant, indiana

2016 Stats
Tackles INT PBU
33 3 17

Fant has quietly had an outstanding career in Bloomington. His 44 career pass breakups and 48 career passes defended are both tops among active NCAA players. After a breakout season in 2015, teams avoided him more last year, resulting in a slight dip in passes defended. As the Indiana defense continues to evolve into a strength this season, Fant should emerge as a legitimate candidate to bring home some hardware come December.

2. godwin igwebiuke, northwestern

2016 Stats
Tackles INT PBU
108 2 9

If Northwestern turns out to be a legitimate contender in the Big Ten West, Igwebuike will be a big reason why. Igwebuike has a knack for finding the football, as his 108 tackles a year ago indicate. Entering his third full season as a starter, Igwebuike should see his name on the All-Big Ten team when the season comes to a close.

1. marcus allen, penn state

2016 Stats
Tackles INT PBU
110 0 3

You could've flipped a coin between Igwebuike and Allen for who gets the No. 1 spot. Everyone knows that Allen is a heat seeking missile in the secondary, and his 110 tackles were top among Big Ten defensive backs. The one downside to Allen is his at-times shaky pass defense. He had just three passes defended in 2016 and has zero career interceptions. Look for him to greatly improve in pass coverage and finally snag that elusive first career interception in his final season.

0 Comments