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I post this for my Purdue fans. I came across a Brad Miller shirt on the internet today, and it’s pretty awesome. The shirt, which can be purchased on skreened.com, features nine squares on the front, each one representing a different jersey Miller has worn during his career, starting with Purdue and ending with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Who doesn’t like a pair of Air Jordan’s? One former Big Ten football player is such a fan, the shoe makes up his birthday cake. Ex-Hawkeye Tyler Sash may have celebrated his birthday late last month, but we’re just now seeing his birthday cake, thanks to a tweet from NFL teammate and former Buckeye Jake Ballard (@NYG_J_Ballard85). See the cake in this post.
Michigan State safety Trenton Robinson didn’t expect to last until the final rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft. That’s what happened, though, and it made for some frustration and tense moments at his draft watching party. Eventually, Robinson heard his name — in the sixth round, to be exact. And while it came later than expected, Robinson is thrilled to be a San Francisco 49er. Watch a YouTube video of his draft watching party in this post.
Immediately following the 2012 NFL Draft on Saturday night, undrafted players began inking free-agent deals. The list of players continues to grow, but see the Big Ten products who have signed and check out some of their tweets in this post. Here’s the official list from NFL.com. And don’t forget about the 41 Big Ten players who were drafted during the three-day event.
Former Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus didn’t have to wait long to hear his name called during the 2012 NFL Draft. With the 26th pick of Thursday night’s first round, the Houston Texans selected Mercilus, the first of four Illinois players taken in the opening 48 picks. Check out all the Big Ten draft picks and see who inked free-agent contracts. BTN cameras were at Mercilus’ family draft watching party in Akron, Ohio, to capture the nerves and jubilation of the memorable night. Watch the behind-the-scenes feature now.
The 2012 NFL Draft came to a close Saturday night. Forty-one former Big Ten stars were selected during the three-day event in New York, including four first-rounders: Iowa’s Riley Reiff, Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus, Wisconsin Kevin Zeitler and Illinois’ A.J. Jenkins. Mercilus and Jenkins were the first of four Illini drafted in the first 48 picks. Even more impressive, four of the Big Ten’s first six players off the board were Illini. Catch up on the entire draft with FoxSports.com’s Draft Tracker and see all the Big Ten picks in this post.
Former Wisconsin basketball player Brian Butch was one of two guys named NBA Development League Co-Performers of the Week for games played March 12-18. The former BTN contributor — yes, he can blog, too — averaged 19 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists in leading the Bakersfield Jam to two wins. As you might guess from the stats, Butch posted a pair of double-doubles. On the season, in eight games, he is averaging 18.4 points and 12 rebounds.
Former Michigan State star linebacker Greg Jones won a ring and handed one out Sunday night in Indianapolis. That’s right, the New York Giants’ rookie proposed to his girlfriend, Mandy Piechowski, as confetti fell from the rafters of Lucas Oil Stadium following Super Bowl XLVI. Evidently, Jones had practice squad tight end Christian Hopkins hold the ring during the game and give it to him after the final play. Piechowski said yes, of course (see pictures of the proposal!). And here’s a picture of the proud groom-to-be, courtesy of teammate Mark Herzlich’s Twitter account.
Fourteen former Big Ten players will be fitted for rings after the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots, 21-17, Sunday night in Super Bowl XLVI (AP recap). Ex-Michigan WR Mario Manningham highlighted the group with five receptions for 73 yards, including a ridiculous 38-yard grab (watch the catch!) that helped set up New York’s game-winning score in the final minute. See how all Big Ten products did in the Super Bowl in this post.
As many as 20 Big Ten products will participate in Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5, headlined by New England QB Tom Brady (Michigan), a three-time Super Bowl winner and two-time Super Bowl MVP. Brady is the biggest name, by far, but it’s the New York Giants who have the most Big Ten players (14 players to six). See all the Big Ten products in the Super Bowl in this post.
Former Michigan baseball player Barry Larkin, who went on to star for the Cincinnati Reds, was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame on Monday. Larkin hit .295 and totaled 2,340 hits, 198 home runs and 960 RBI in his 19-year career, all with the Reds. A 12-time All-Star, Larkin won one World Series (1990), one NL MVP (1995) and three Gold Gloves.
Week 16 of the NFL season is in the books, and Big Ten products compiled impressive numbers. All season long, use our Big Ten NFL Stat Tracker to see how ex-Big Ten stars perform. Simply click on a player’s name, and the link will lead you to his NFL.com game log. Every Tuesday, Brent Yarina singles out the best offensive, defensive and special teams performances, plus links to their NFL.com highlights. See Brent’s Week 16 winners in this post.
As a quarterback at Purdue, Drew Brees became the Boilermakers’ and the Big Ten Conference career leader in passing attempts (1,678), passing completions (1,026), passing yards (11,792), passing touchdowns (90) and total offense (12,692). On Monday night Brees added another record to his impressive resume: He broke Dan Marino’s 27-year-old single-season passing yard mark.