Originally posted on The B1g Time  |  Last updated 5/16/13

We've reached the teens!!! O.k., not sure if that's something to celebrate as most of us wouldn't want to go back for the life of us, but here on the countdown that's a damn good thing. It means we are one step closer to solving the puzzle of who we see as the best player in the Big Ten heading into the 2013 football season. 

Yesterday it was the reining player of the year at tight end, Jacob Pedersen, from Wisconsin making an appearance at No. 20. So, it's perhaps only fitting that up next is a player from the Border Battle rivals, Minnesota.

Before we get into the other half of the Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe, let us remind you of what criteria we used to make our Top 25 list. We used things like importance to your team, overall skill at your position, records set, past performance, conference honors (coaches, media, our list too), and the good old-fashioned eye test.

Now, let us take a look at our 2nd offensive lineman on this list, a name that may surprise a few of you for his inclusion. He's also the youngest player to appear on our list to date, being a redshirt junior in a sea of seniors so far.

No. 19: Zac Epping (C, Minnesota)

2012 Stats/Honors: 13 starts (LG, C, RG), named Minnesota's offensive lineman of the year

What makes him worthy: When you think of centers in football you think of nasty, down and dirty, hard work. It's never pretty, but there's a lot that goes into the position. Well, if you're looking for all of the above and supremely athletic then you're looking for Epping. 

He really broke out on the scene this past season and his nasty streak really came out in the bowl game - to a fault at times. On the bright side, the Gophers racked up an impressive 222 yards, considering a lackluster 87 yard and 4 yard output in the final two regular season games I'd say that's impressive, huh? Overall though, he's given the Gophers O-Line a nasty identity and that should tell you all you need to know as to why he's on this list.

Ironically this is one offensive lineman that got away from the state of Wisconsin and you've got to wonder if the old regime at UW would've loved a do over on that recruitment. 

Epping isn't just a center, although that appears to be the likely home for him this coming fall, he saw time at every interior line spot while starting every game for the Gophers as a redshirt sophomore last season.

He has a chance to really be one of the breakout stars along the offensive line in the conference this season and for his epic finish to 2012 he jumps into our preseason list.

Video Proof:

The Top 25 List:

No. 25: Christian Bryant (S, Ohio State)
No. 24: Ryan Groy (OL, Wisconsin)
No. 23: Isaiah Lewis (S, Michigan State)
No. 22: Carlos Hyde (RB, Ohio State)
No. 21: Denicos Allen (LB, Michigan State)
No. 20: Jacob Pedersen (TE, Wisconsin)
No. 19: Zac Epping (C, Minnesota)

For more of our list and coverage of the Big Ten make sure to follow us on Twitter @TheB1GTime and Like us on Facebook.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Steelers make Brown NFL's highest-paid WR

Report: Chiefs sign Duvernay-Tardif to five-year extension

MLB considering introducing 'stickier' baseballs

Report: Browns have discussed trading No. 12 pick for Garoppolo

Report: Lowry expected to miss 4-5 weeks, return for playoffs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Cowboys to release Romo in coming weeks

Report: Jennings expected to sign with Hornets

Did Hield reveal Kings tampered with him before trade?

Nicklaus says Tiger's current situation is a 'puzzle to me'

Schroder still insists Isaiah Thomas insulted his family

Report: Cousins wants franchise tag to be used on him

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
THE B1G TIME

The best sports movies available to stream right now

Biggest surprises and disappointments of the NBA season

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 20 or more games in a season since 2000

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker