Big Ten rankings: Cameron Heyward, No. 7

March, 4, 2010
3/04/10
10:30
AM ET
The 2009 Big Ten postseason player rankings, based on past performance and future potential, continue with ...

No. 7

Cameron Heyward, DL, Ohio State, Jr., 6-6, 287

Preseason rank: Unranked

Why he's here: It's time for a bold prediction: When the 2010 postseason player rankings roll around, Heyward will appear at the top of the list. Along with Iowa's Adrian Clayborn, Heyward has the most potential of any returning Big Ten player to not only dominate at the college level, but also project well to the NFL. Although he didn't earn first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2009, he showed flashes of dominance in two of Ohio State's biggest games, against USC and Penn State. He led the team with 6.5 sacks and ranked second with 10 tackles for loss to go along with a fumble recovery for a touchdown at Michigan.

Heyward easily could have entered the NFL draft after the 2009 season. And with a strong combine performance, he might have been a first-round pick in April. Ohio State is thrilled to have him back, and he'll contend for national awards in 2010 as he leads the Buckeyes' defensive line. Heyward looked like the best player on the field at times this season, and his next step is to dominate every game this fall. He'll be a name to watch both in the Big Ten and nationally. A strong senior year could make Heyward a top 10 pick in the 2011 draft.

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