Where has the time gone... No seriously, it feels like just yesterday we were unveiling the very first player on our list. Yet, here we are creeping up on the Top 10.
It's safe to say we're really beginning to start splitting hairs when it comes to the differences between players that put them in one place or the next and that's really the case today as we bring you yet another Northwestern player.
That more than one made this list is a feat that just two seasons ago wasn't all that likely. Congrats Pat Fitzgerald and Co. - you've become much more relevant and you've done it the old fashioned way, winning games on the football field.
Well, today we give you one of the biggest reasons 2012 was as successful as it was and a guy that stands out as a shinning example against the assertion that the Big Ten "doesn't have 'SEC speed'."
No. 12: Venric Mark (RB, Northwestern)
2012 Stats/Honors: 1,366 yards, 6.0avg, 12TD's rushing, 20 receptions, 104 yards, 1 TD receiving - 1st team All-American (PR), consensus 2nd team All-Big Ten (RB)
What makes him worthy: More than any other player in the Big Ten, Venric Mark's coming out party was in 2012. So much so that he's the leading returning rusher in the Big Ten coming into 2013 - a fact that I'm willing to guarantee will win you more than your fair share of bar bets (feel free to use it... with credit of course).
Moving forward though Mark could be poised for even greater things this season, especially with a more well defined structure around him up front on the offensive line. If he is the leading returning rusher in the Big Ten then why so low? Well... He only has one season of true work to go off of and perhaps we're guarding a bit against the possibility of a flash in the pan type scenario happening.
We've seen it before, but with the speed and the weapons around him all over the Wildcats offense it's hard to see it not happening to at least the same extent, if not even more so in 2013.
Mark is a burner, plain and simple, but he's more than that. He's got amazing vision, great footwork, and despite not being the biggest guy on the field (5'8", 175lbs.) he knows how to use his body better than just about anyone in the conference.
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