So, with a couple weeks of games under our belts, a few things have started to shake out across Big Ten land. Nothing substantial yet, but at this point, if a player is going to have an impact this season, there's a good chance they've at least showed up a bit so far. That said, I'm wondering which WHO DAT B1G players have caught your eye while flipping between games during halftime or reading the wraps on Sunday. Obviously, no Michigan players are really WHO DAT to us, but include them if they are surprising you.
By team, from those I pay least attention to:
Indiana - True soph Tre Roberson, #5 QB, who actually appeared in 9 games last season, becoming ostensibly the starter by the end of the year. However, it being Indiana, I really can't claim to have noticed. This year, despite the terrible level of competition for Indiana thus far, there's been no denying Roberson, who leads his team with 378 passing yards, 124 rushing yards and a 68% completion percentage.
In true Indiana fashion, Tre suffered a broken leg in Saturday's game vs. UMass, and is done for the season. Still... impressive enough start.
Illinois - True Frosh Josh Ferguson, #6 RB. Again, level of competition questions here, but ASU ain't exactly UMass despite the loss of Vontaze Burfict, and the 3-star Running Back with a smattering of MAC and service academy offers was one of the Illini's few lone bright spots there. Through two games, the Freshman has rushed 25 times for 139 yards (5.6 per pop) and added a few receptions to go along with it. I'm not saying he's Rashard Mendenhall, but he'll be one to watch.
Iowa - Any RB at Iowa with legs is impressive, I suppose, and True Soph Damon Bullock has done a few things to get noticed. Appearing in 6 games in 2011, mostly on special teams (a total of 20 carries on offense), the wrath of the AIRBHG has basically made Bullock the defacto starter. The 2-star RB with offers to Iowa and literally nobody else has looked decent, rolling up 203 rushing yards and 82 recieving, with 2 total TD's, in Iowa's first two games. His 2.1 YPC versus Iowa State was more than alleged savior Greg Garmon could accomplish, at any rate.
Purdue - True Soph Ryan Russell, two star Defensive End. Ruseell appeared in all 13 games in his freshman season, making a decent showing of 32 total tackles, 17 solo. That's not going to make headlines though. This year, he has come alive in his first two games, putting up 11 total, including 6 solo, against even tough competition like ND. Last year he earned a total of 4.5 TFL. This year, he already has 2.5. An edge rushing terror in the making?
Minnesota - I can't claim that anyone on Minnesota's team has jumped out at me that I didn't already know. Gray has looked a little better, but he's not an unknown. Does anyone else have a suggestion here?
Penn State - The mass exodus of playmakers from Penn State has opened a hole for longtime "other contributors" to step up. Senior RB Derek Day, who also played some defense as late as last year, has shown a few good things for Penn State so far. Day, who first earned offensive stats last year, appearing in all games but earning only 7 carries for 27 yards, has kind of become starter by default, and given the Nittany Lions at least a minor punch at RB, with 26 carries for 83 yards. Penn state is very much by committee at this point, but the unheralded, longtime benchwarmer at least gives happy Valley fans a pair of legs on the ground, and has looked steady to date.
Any other notes from the board?