Debate It: 2013 Big Ten tackles leader?

Tackles are an inexact science, to be sure. Teams award them differently, so it’s not always as simple as comparing Player A from School A to Player B from School B. Whatever the case, the Big Ten returns several of its top tacklers, including 2012 leader Anthony Hitchens. Who will lead the Big Ten in tackles this fall? Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina offer their picks in this post.

2012 leader: Anthony Hitchens, Iowa – 124
2013 returning leader: Anthony Hitchens, Iowa – 124

Tom: Ryan Shazier, Ohio State – If you thought Shazier was good last season as a sophomore, when he ranked second in the Big Ten and 26th in the nation in tackles (9.58 per game), wait until you get a load of him this season. And, make sure you check him out, because it may be Shazier’s last season in Columbus. He’s the most athletic linebacker in the Big Ten—and the best linebacker. Shazier is a freakish combination of instincts and ability whose passion for the game knows no bounds. Plus, he’ll be protected by the best defensive line in the Big Ten, which will allow him to roam free and work unencumbered. So, sit back and watch Shazier’s tackle totals rise.
Dark horse: Max Bullough, Michigan State

[ RELATED: View all of our preseason stat predictions ]

Brent: Chris Borland, Wisconsin – Borland is a risky pick, from the standpoint he’s injury prone and is no stranger to missing time. But the Badgers’ linebacker is worth the risk, because he’s a tackling machine who will be asked to pick up some of the slack created by fellow linebacker Mike Taylor’s graduation. Taylor finished last season one tackle off the Big Ten lead (123), so there are opportunities to be had for Borland, who totaled 104 tackles in 12 games last season. And no, the Badgers’ new 3-4 scheme shouldn’t affect Borland’s production.
Dark horse: Greg Heban, Indiana

Here are reader tweets:


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (6 Comments)
common sense on 6/15/2013 @ 10:50am EDT Said:

MSU Doug , serious about my question, the boss may not know much about football, but how could anyone spend time in the show with the Bengals and know nothing about football
use your common sense MSU Doug. July is vacation month in the sports media world but in August you need to be back with better more informed commentary MSU Doug.

common sense on 6/15/2013 @ 10:51am EDT Said:

Also agree Max Bullough as a dark horse, he will play on Sundays.

common sense on 6/15/2013 @ 10:54am EDT Said:

If MSU Doug raises the level of his game and says some positive things about the Wolverines next fall he may get a press box pass to watch the Wolverines in the Big House will check to see if he converts to Michigan fandom.

OSU 12-0 on 6/15/2013 @ 12:07pm EDT Said:

OSU will be playing MSU in the 2013 B1G championship game!

K. John on 6/15/2013 @ 12:16pm EDT Said:

The safest bet is either to go with the Big Ten’s best linebacker, which is Mike Hull without question or its top inside linebacker which is Glen Carson. As a reserve playing out of position, Hull was the third best linebacker in the Big Ten last season beyond former team-mates Mike Mauti and Gerald Hodges. he is easily the fastest, most athletic linebacker in the Big Ten. Carson was the top inside player. Either one is a safe bet. Don’t discount Wartman either.

Joe Ehle on 6/19/2013 @ 5:43pm EDT Said:

You all are missing a big point, last years Hawkeye Offense was abysmal. Meaning the defense was on the field a ton! Plus the Iowa defense doesn’t give up a ton of big plays – but it can give up plenty of 12 plus play drives – leading to more tackles to go around. Thus three linebackers averaging 110 tackle each.