Penn State defensive tackle Anthony Zettel was among 11 players named to the Big Ten’s fifth annual Players to Watch list Thursday.
The list was made after a vote of a select media panel, with five players from the East Division and six from the West.
Zettel was a first-team All-Big Ten lineman last season, and has been named to a number of preseason watch lists for postseason awards already this summer. Among his honors are watch lists for the Bednarik Award, for the national defensive player of the year; the Nagurski Trophy, for the defensive player of the year; the Outland Trophy, for the nation’s top interior lineman; and the Lombardi Award for the nation’s top lineman or linebacker.
Zettel shifted from defensive end to defensive tackle last fall and posted his most productive season. Zettel had career bests with 17 tackles for loss and eight sacks. He also had three interceptions, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble last season.
Michigan State and Ohio State took over the rest of the East Division for the Big Ten Watch list. Spartans defensive end Shilique Calhoun and quarterback Connor Cook were honored, alongside Buckeyes defensive end Joey Bosa and running back Ezekiel Elliott. From the west were Nebraska defensive tackle Maliek Collins and wide receiver De’Mornay Pierson-El, along with Wisconsin safety Michael Caputo and running back Corey Clement. Iowa defensive end Drew Ott and Northwestern running back Justin Jackson round out the division’s honorees.