OK, confession time. The first-half of this piece doesn’t stem from an original thought. I got the idea from this article on LostLettermen.com.
Here are my picks for the 25 best football player-names in the Big Ten, which will be followed by my 25 favorite names of Big Ten players’ hometowns. Feel free to state your favorites in the comments section, or come up with other nominees.
2. Blake Countess, Michigan defensive back
3. Connor Kornbrath, Iowa punter. He’s an Iowa player with “Korn” in his name, but he’s from West Virginia. That’s an odd twist.
4. Fitzgerald Toussaint, Michigan running back
5. Demaris Peppers, Minnesota defensive lineman
6. (tie) Fritz Rock, Illinois wide receiver
Chris Rock, Ohio State defensive lineman
8. Ryker Fife, Nebraska quarterback
9. Jesse James, Penn State tight end. As a freshman last season, Jesse had a 31-yard touchdown catch in the Nittany Lions’ 38-14 win at Iowa.
10. Chongo Kondolo, Nebraska offensive lineman
11. Chi Chi Ariguzo, Northwestern linebacker. I need to double-check my lists before finalizing them, because Chi Chi is too low at No. 11.
12. Eli Apple, Ohio State cornerback
13. Duke Anyonwu, Minnesota tight end
14. Jay Guy, Nebraska defensive tackle
15. Hugs Etienne, Wisconsin defensive back
17. Taco Charlton, Michigan defensive end. His real first name is Vidaunte.
18. (double entry) Reggie Spearman, Iowa linebacker, and Melvin Spears, Iowa defensive end. C’mon, they’re defenders with “spear” in their names. That’s almost as good as a linebacker named Pat Angerer.
19. Jack Gangwish, Nebraska defensive end
20. Tracy Sprinkle, Ohio State defensive lineman
21. Austin Whipple, Penn State quarterback. Put Sprinkle and Whipple together, and you have a delicious ice cream treat.
22. Arthur Goldberg, Wisconsin nose guard
23. Race Johnson, Purdue defensive back
24. V’Angelo Bentley, Illinois defensive back
25. Faith Ekaktite, Iowa defensive lineman
26. Chase Hoobler, Indiana linebacker. He’s a Hoosier Hoobler.
1. Peculiar, Mo. (Indiana quarterback Cameron Coffman)
2. Sunrise, Fla. (Wisconsin safety Dezmen Southward)
3. Flowery Branch, Ga. (Indiana defensive back Noel Padmore and Indiana linebacker Kris Smith)
4. Strongsville, Ohio (Iowa tight end Ray Hamilton and Indiana offensive lineman David Kaminski)
5. Beaver Dam, Wis. (Michigan State running back R.J. Shelton and Minnesota defensive lineman Owen Salzwedel)
6. Little Chute, Wis. (Indiana offensive lineman Cody Evers)
7. Hopewell Junction, N.Y. (Michigan linebacker Bobby Henderson)
8. Bear, Del. (Penn State tight end Kyle Carter). Legend has it that Bear got its name from a local tavern whose sign depicted a bear many centuries ago.
9. Sinking Spring, Pa. (Penn State safety Colin Harrop)
10. Maidens, Va. (Purdue kicker Thomas Meadows)
11. Champion, Mich. (Michigan linebacker Nick Benda)
12. Chagrin Falls, Ohio (Northwestern offensive lineman Sam Coverdale)
13. Wahoo, Neb. (Nebraska offensive lineman Brandon Chapek)
14. Vermont, Ill. (Illinois offensive lineman Michael Heitz)
16. Sicklerville, N.J. (Iowa linebacker Quinton Alston and Penn State running back Bill Belton)
17. Shaker Heights, Ohio (Michigan State OL Henry Conway, Ohio State DL Donovan Munger, Ohio State OL Antonio Underwood)
18. Slinger, Wis. (Wisconsin defensive end Tyler Dippel)
19. Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa. (Purdue offensive tackle Jack De Boef)
20. Trout Valley, Ill. (Northwestern offensive tackle Hayden Baker and Northwestern wide receiver Quinn Baker)
21. Blissfield, Mich. (Michigan tight end Dylan Esterline)
22. Dry Branch, Ga. (Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard)
23. Old Forge, Pa. (Penn State running back Brian Tomasetti)
24. Flossmoor, Ill. (Purdue offensive lineman Michael Rouse III)
25. Geelong, Austrailia (Ohio State punter Cameron Johnson)