Michigan State linebacker Greg Jones has been selected as the Big Ten's Preseason Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor was once again voted as the Big Ten's Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. These two received the preseason nods a year ago as well, meaning this is the first time since 1998 that there has been a repeat with this vote.
This year marks the first since 1998 that the Big Ten's Preseason Defensive and Offensive Players of the Year have been repeat selections from the previous season. Ohio State's Andy Katzenmoyer (defense) and Wisconsin's Ron Dayne (offense) are the only other pair to accomplish the feat since at least 1996. Jones is the first back-to-back Preseason Defensive Player of the Year since Ohio State's James Laurinaitis in 2007 and 2008, and Pryor is the first player to repeat as Preseason Offensive Player of the Year since Dayne earned the honor in 1997, 1998 and 1999.
Jones was named the Big Ten's Defensive Player of the Year last season and was a first-team All-Conference pick. A consensus All-American in 2009, the senior linebacker is on the preseason watch lists for the Butkus, Lombardi and Nagurski Awards and Lott Trophy. As a junior, Jones led the Big Ten and ranked third in the nation with 11.8 tackles per game and was fifth in the conference with nine sacks for 53 yards. His 154 tackles last season marked the seventh-highest total in program history.
In other preseason voting news, Ohio State has been picked as the Big Ten champion for the third straight year. Iowa came in at second in the poll and Wisconsin received the third-most votes. In the Big Ten, only the top three teams are revealed, so it's unknown where Michigan and Michigan State ended up in the vote.