Our weeklong journey comes to an end today, as we give you the best of the best…the top of the 2014 Big Ten mountain. That’s right, the end of the Big Ten football Top 25 players list!
Some of the names we expected to be here, others surprised us and still others flat-out floored us with their performances. These five players would be names any Big Ten team would kill to have had on their rosters.
Let’s get right to unveiling the top 5 players in Big Ten football for 2014, shall we?
5. Ameer Abdullah, RB (Nebraska)
2014 Stats: 1,523 yards, 18 TDs, 6.4 yards per carry; 16 receptions, 208 yards, 3 TDs
Best Game: vs. Rutgers – 19 carries, 225 yards, 3 TDs; 2 receptions, 26 yards
The Huskers and Ameer Abdullah seemed to be inextricably linked in 2014. As he went, so did his team. When Abdullah was busting out 12 of his 18 touchdowns to open Big Ten play it was pretty clear the Huskers were going places. Then a knee injury hit as November came around and along with it came a declining ability to be a major contributor, which in turn led his team to back-to-back losses to Wisconsin and Minnesota.
However, not all was lost for the star senior running back, who when healthy had a pretty good competition going on with friend and foe, Melvin Gordon. He showed early in Big Ten play that he was more than capable of being a dominant player, and one has to wonder what could’ve been had it not been for his sprained knee against Purdue on Nov. 1.
I mean, the guy had four 200-yard games on the season and had three games with three or more rushing touchdowns to his name. Abdullah may be the best pro prospect in the group of amazing running backs the Big Ten put out in 2014, but in terms of competition in 2014 he just couldn’t afford the injury to stay at the top of this list.