1-Doug Datish, Senior, Ohio State
2-Trevor Rees, Junior, Northwestern
3-Mark Bihl, Senior, Michigan
4-Robbie Powell, Junior, Purdue
5-A.Q. Shipley, Sophomore, Penn State
6-Tyson Swaggert, Senior, Minnesota
7-Chris Mangiero, Senior, Indiana
8-Ryan McDonald, Sophomore, Illinois
9-Marcus Coleman, Junior, Wisconsin
10-Rafael Eubanks, Freshman, Iowa
With the loss of Minnesota’s Greg Eslinger, Ohio State’s Nick Mangold, Michigan State’s Chris Morris and Wisconsin’s Donovan Raiola,
the center position in the Big Ten isn't what it use to be. That said, a young
crop of first time starters and a mix of veterans should make things interesting.
The player at the top of this year's board should be Ohio State’s Doug
Datish. The former tackle will be making the move to center this year, which
further displays his outstanding versatility. The 6’5, 294 pounder can
play any position on the offensive line, and play them well. He was a reliable
left tackle last season and his experience will go a long way toward replacing
Despite missing all of last season due to academic troubles, we will slot Trevor
Rees at number two. Rees was a freshman All American in 2004 and no doubt has
exceptional talent. He may have some initial rust, but expect Rees to grow into
a All Big Ten type player down the line.
Perhaps one of the most important roles this year for the Michigan Wolverines
will be filled by Mark Bihl. Coach Carr raved about his former starter during
the spring and his ability to hold the center spot will allow the Wolverines
to move Adam Kraus to guard. Carr believes Bihl is finally ready to finally
take over the anchor position full time after struggling as a starter a few
After starting at left guard last season, Robbie Powell will now take over
the center spot for the Boilermakers. Powell brings exceptional size and experience
to the fold and is a part of what should be a very good Boilermaker line.
One player who could be the sleeper of the group is Penn State’s AQ Shipley.
After initially starting out on defense, Shipley was moved to center and has
adapted quickly. Shipley will be counted on heavily, as he is the centerpiece
of a line that only returns one starter.
The Golden Gophers will start Tyson Swaggert at center and he should be a good
one. The 6’4, 285 pounder has experience playing along the line and could
move to guard if needed.
Indiana’s Chris Mangiero makes up for his lack of size and range with
tenacity on the inside.
Illinois’s Ryan McDonald has settled in at center after struggling at
tackle last season. The staff is counting on him to help improve a marginal
Illini offensive trench.
Rounding out the list are two youngsters who won their spots coming out of
spring ball. Marcus Coleman of Wisconsin and Rafael Eubanks have the tall task
of replacing starters at top notch offensive line schools.