staff, staff, August 24, 2015

Our countdown to kickoff series continues, and today it's all about Big Ten East top newcomers.

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This is always a fun category to consider, because everyone gets excited about the new guys, the players we've heard so much about.

Who is your leading candidate for Big Ten East top newcomer?

Get senior writer Tom Dienhart, editor Sean Merriman and senior editor Brent Yarina's preseason selections below.

Tom Dienhart: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State. The true freshman was described to me as being ?special? by Nittany Lions OC John Donovan. Good enough for me. I think the guy will wrestle the starting job from Akeel Lynch at some point.


Sean Merriman: L.J. Scott, RB, Michigan State. Standing at 6-0, 235 pounds, Scott doesn't look like a true freshman, and he doesn't play like one either. MSU's running back competition is wide open after the departure of Jeremy Langford, and coaches have raved about Scott's potential. Don't be surprised if this guy evolves into the Spartans' lead back by the time Big Ten play begins.


Brent Yarina: Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana. Howard ran for a single-season record 1,587 yards and 13 touchdowns last season at UAB. While the level of competition increases in the Big Ten, the transfer is a proven back who gets to run behind one of the Big Ten's most underrated offensive lines.