Most Underrated Player On Every Top 25 Team

Most Underrated Player On Every Top 25 Team

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Most Underrated Player On Every Top 25 Team

ESPN.com brings us a great breakdown of every Top 25 team’s most underrated player.  Who is the most underrated player on ESPN’s 9th ranked team, the Spartans?

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Reminder – unless a piano falls onto the head of whoever the executive editor is of ESPN’s Top 25, Michigan State will start the season in a couple of months in ESPN’s Top 10.

That and a wicker basket filled with socket wrenches will secure the Spartans a guaranteed spot in the opening game they have on their schedule against Utah State on Friday, August 31st.

Still, with a Top 10 ranking, the Spartans are, right off the bat, in position to get themselves into position so that they can be in position to get a position in the College Football Playoff.

The better a team’s initial position is at the outset of the season, the better that team’s positioning is as it works all season to properly position itself.

With that understood, it’s fun to take a look at how the teams that are in the twenty five positions throughout ESPN’s Top 25 have position players who may be in a position to show that they should be in a more visible position compared to players across the country who are in very high profile positions of respect and publicity.

On each team that has a position in the Top 25, there might be a single player who should have a higher profile position.

Who is each player on each team positioned in the Top 25 that should be better positioned?

From my fairly ignorant position, I agree with ESPN in the way they’ve identified Mike Pansiuk as the Spartans’ singular player who might warrant better public positioning.

Speaking of positioning, does anyone other than me recognize that Michigan State finished the 2017 college football season in the second position among all college football teams statistically positioned in terms of rushing yards allowed per game?

The top two positions in the category of Rushing Defense at the end of the 2017 season looked like this:

  1. Alabama – Yards Per Game, 94.7
  2. Michigan State – Yards Per Game, 95.3

At 6’4″, 296 pounds, Michigan State’s Mike Panasiuk enters the 2018 season as a third year monster who has started 16 straight games at Defensive Tackle.

Over 25 games, Panasiuk has a total of 39 tackles, three of them for loss, and a half of a sack.

Pansiuk was a key component of the return of the stout Spartan defense, specifically the return of the green wall along the interior that shut down opponents’ ability to run the football all season long.

Perhaps most intriguing with regard to Panasiuk is that he’s made a cogent decision to eschew Takis tortilla chips.

Instead of the tasty, spicy snack treats, Panasiuk is choosing to reach for bananas, apples, and the like.

ESPN.com’s write up on Panasiuk in the piece below that lists evert Top 25 team’s most underrated (i.e. under positioned) player doesn’t even address the fact that Panasiuk is making healthy choices and consuming fruits rather than the tasty, spicy tortilla chips he has favored for so long.

If you think SpatansWire is engaging in Fake News with this piece of dietary information related to Mike Panasiuk, check out the original story about this important development here and blame the engagement in Fake News on the guy who wrote this thing –

https://www.mlive.com/spartans/index.ssf/2018/04/michigan_state_dt_mike_panasiu.html

Dive into the revelation of every Top 25 team’s most under positioned player right here – the entire article is positioned below –

The most underrated player on each Top 25 team

Each season, new stars emerge on the gridiron. It’s often the players who have been with the program for a while, waiting for a chance, who sneak into starring roles while no one is looking. Don’t sleep on these potential breakout players for each of the Top 25 teams.


1. Alabama: RB Damien Harris

All Damien Harris has done is rushed for 900 yards or more in each of the past two seasons, and yet he keeps getting overlooked. There’s the Jalen HurtsTua Tagovailoa debate, of course, but it’s also Harris’ understudy, Najee Harris, who has captured Bama fans’ attention. All Damien keeps doing is racking up yards. — Alex Scarborough


2. Clemson: LB Kendall Joseph

Largely overshadowed by Clemson’s defensive line and even fellow linebackers like Dorian O’Daniel last year, Joseph has been a steady presence for the Tigers. It might surprise some to know Joseph has collected 222 career tackles, including 18.5 for loss with 30 quarterback hurries. A third-team All-ACC selection in 2017, Joseph is set up for a strong finish to his college career. — Adam Rittenberg


3. Ohio State: S Jordan Fuller

Fuller will be the veteran leader of the Buckeyes’ secondary in 2018 after learning from talent-loaded defensive backfields the past two seasons. The New Jersey native will be a key piece to Ohio State’s defense even if most of the attention remains focused on the star-studded defensive line. — Dan Murphy


4. Georgia: DB J.R. Reed

Of course we all understand that Roquan Smith and Lorenzo Carterare gone. We get it, Georgia’s defense will look different this season. But don’t forget a standout performer from last season: J.R. Reed. All the sophomore defensive back did was post 79 tackles, two interceptions and six QB hurries. — Scarborough


5. Oklahoma: OL/LT Bobby Evans

Left tackle Orlando BrownJr. garnered all the attention and honors anchoring Oklahoma’s offensive line last season. Bookend mate Bobby Evans, however, was quietly just as dominant on the other side. With Brown now in the NFL, Evans has flipped to the left side — and stands to take over as the headliner of Oklahoma’s imposing line. — Jake Trotter


6. Washington: OL Ryan Bowman

Former walk-on Ryan Bowman was a huge surprise for Washington last year and is now in line for a starting spot as an outside linebacker for the Huskies this season. In limited work as a redshirt freshman, Bowman led the Huskies with 5.5 sacks and was second with 9.5 TFLs. — Edward Aschoff


7. Wisconsin: WR Danny Davis III

Wisconsin hasn’t been known for explosive wide receivers, but things should change this season thanks to Davis and others. Davis averaged more than 16 yards per reception as a freshman and tied for second on the team with five touchdowns, including three against Miami in the Orange Bowl. Along with Quintez CephusA.J. Taylor and others, Davis brings the dynamic speed element that Wisconsin has lacked. — Rittenberg


8. Miami: DE Demetrius Jackson

Before a knee injury shut him down midway through the season, Jackson recorded 7.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks playing opposite Joe Jackson on Miami’s defensive line. Miami needs depth and production on a line that lost two tackles to the NFL. Demetrius Jackson’s return, along with those of Joe Jackson and Jonathan Garvin, could be significant. — Rittenberg


9. Michigan State: DT Mike Panasiuk

Most of the Spartans’ line deserves a bit more credit than it receives. Panasiuk started 16 straight games. Last year he and fellow tackle Raequan Williams were the anchor of a revitalized run-stopping defense. — Murphy


10. Michigan: RB Karan Higdon

The Wolverines’ defense will (rightfully) draw a lot of attention again this year. Higdon, though, is a smart, decisive runner with breakaway speed. He could be one of the Big Ten’s breakout stars if the line in front of him takes a step forward in 2018. — Murphy


11. West Virginia: WR Gary Jennings

Though David Sills V was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award last season, Gary Jennings actually led the Big 12 with 97 receptions. As a reliable possession option, Jennings is a big reason why the Mountaineers’ passing attack figures to be among the best in the country. — Trotter


12. Notre Dame: C Sam Mustipher

The guy who lined up next to two top-10 NFL draft picks for the past couple of years has a chance to step out of their considerable shadow this season. Mustipher hasn’t missed a start in the middle of Notre Dame’s daunting offensive line for the past two years. He’ll be the key to making sure that group remains solid while replacing Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson. — Murphy


13. Penn State: LB Koa Farmer

Don’t forget the Nittany Lions finished among the top 10 in the nation in points allowed last year to go with that flashy Saquon Barkley-centric offense. Farmer’s transformation from a high school running back to a 235-pound linebacker is complete, and as one of the unit’s top returning players, he’s primed for a breakout year. — Murphy


14. Stanford: P Jake Bailey

Special-teamers rarely get the love they deserve, but in a year in which Stanford’s defense enters as an unknown (again), punter Jake Bailey might be the Cardinal’s sneaky secret weapon. Last year, Bailey ranked seventh nationally with an average punt of 45.4 yards, planted 24 of his 57 kicks inside the 20 and bombed 20 punts of 50-plus yards. — Aschoff


15. Virginia Tech: OLB/D Mook Reynolds

He played alongside two future first-round picks in Tremaine Edmunds and Terrell Edmunds, so his accomplishments could easily be overlooked. But Reynolds has 134 tackles, including 18 for loss, in the past two seasons and has started 26 games over the past three seasons. He’ll be a more recognizable player this season, as Virginia Tech really needs him to step up. — Rittenberg


16. Mississippi State: RB Aeris Williams

Quarterback Nick Fitzgerald gets all the attention, and rightfully so. What’s more, there was a two-year stretch where State just couldn’t seem to run the ball outside of its quarterbacks. But that doesn’t mean Aeris Williams should be completely overlooked, not when he has quietly racked up 1,829 yards and 23 touchdowns the past two seasons. — Scarborough


17. USC: C Toa Lobendahn

There’s no question that USC’s offensive line was a major weak spot in 2017. Now, Toa Lobendahn returns as arguably the most important player up front. He’s the most experienced member of the line and has played guard, tackle and center, where he’ll return this fall after playing left tackle last year. Injuries have plagued him, and the Trojans absolutely need him to be healthy this fall. — Aschoff


18. UCF: WR Dredrick Snelson

Milton received most of the attention along with wideout Tre’Quan Smith and others, but Snelson had a solid sophomore season, recording 46 receptions for 695 yards and eight touchdowns. After averaging 15.1 yards per catch, he steps into a featured role as he enters his second season as a starter. — Rittenberg


19. Auburn: DL Dontavius Russell

You’d think a 6-foot-3, 320-pound lineman with the quickness of Dontavius Russell would get more attention, but to be fair Auburn’s defensive line is loaded. Still, the senior nose guard deserves credit not just for anchoring one of the best lines in the country, but also doing his fair share of getting after it with 6.5 tackles for loss and three sacks last season. — Scarborough


20. TCU: S Niko Small

Niko Small has been overshadowed the past two years playing alongside All-Big 12 safety Nick Orr. But over 23 starts, Small has been a reliable player for Gary Patterson’s defensive backfield. With Orr no longer around, Small is set to take over as the linchpin of the TCU secondary. — Trotter


21. Boise State: RB Alexander Mattison

Running back Alexander Mattison has proved to be the perfect complement to quarterback Brett Rypien, with the ability to bury opposing defenses on his own. Mattison rushed for 242 yards against Colorado State last year, the third-highest total in Boise State history. In Mattison and Rypien, the Broncos boast a dynamic backfield. — Trotter


22. Texas: DE Breckyn Hager

Though he’s been yanked around to different positions along the Texas defensive front, Breckyn Hager has been a consistent pass-rushing threat over his 34 career games. Now locked in as a starter at defensive end, Hager is positioned to potentially cap his career with a standout senior season. — Trotter


23. Texas A&M: LB Tyrel Dodson

The Aggies’ defense gets a bad rap. And, frankly, the overall numbers don’t say otherwise. But dig down and you’ll find at least one player who has done his part: linebacker Tyrel Dodson. Last season he not only ranked seventh in the SEC with 96 tackles, he also had six sacks, six passes defended and three interceptions. — Scarborough


24. Oregon: RB Tony Brooks-James

Filling Royce Freeman‘s historic shoes at running back won’t be easy, but don’t sleep on senior Tony Brooks-James. He was Oregon’s offensive MVP in 2016 and he has legit track team speed. Health has always been an issue with him, but the 185-pound Brooks-James rushed for nearly 500 yards last year and will be the head of the Ducks’ running back committee this fall. — Aschoff


25. South Carolina: WR Bryan Edwards

A lot of people are going to be excited about the return of Deebo Samuel to the Gamecocks’ receiver corps, and they should be. But don’t sleep on Bryan Edwards. He’s caught 103 passes and eight touchdowns the past two seasons, after all. — Scarborough

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