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Three Big Ten Quarterbacks On Manning Award Preseason List

The best in the conference.
Braxton Miller running the ball for Ohio State.

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 23: Quarterback Braxton Miller #5 of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks for running room in the first quarter as Clyde Newton #41 of the Indiana Hoosiers pursues at Ohio Stadium on November 23, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Indiana 42-14. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

CBS Sports announced today that three Big Ten Conference quarterbacks made the preseason Manning Award watch list. The chosen three were Nebraska junior Taylor Martinez, Iowa senior James Vandenberg, and Michigan senior Denard Robinson.

Martinez is coming off a season where his awkward, sidearmed release passed for just over 2,000 yards, with 13 touchdowns against eight interceptions. Martinez is a dual-threat quarterback and Nebraska often runs the read-option with him in shotgun. His rushing abilities added nine touchdowns to his stat-line in 2011. Nebraska utilizes Martinez well and he is dangerous in the running game. However, his touchdown-to-interception ratio must improve for Nebraska to be a more competitive team.

Denard Robinson is one of the most electrifying players in college football. Each time he has the ball he has the potential to shake free for a big gain. Last year he ran for over 1,100 yards and 16 touchdowns, finishing as Michigan's leading rusher. Robinson also passed for 2,173 yards and 20 touchdowns. Like Taylor Martinez, Robinson will need to reduce the number of times he throws the ball to the other team, as he had 15 interceptions in 2011. Still, expect another exciting year from Robinson and don't surprised when he's in New York for the Heisman presentation.

Unlike the other two quarterbacks, James Vandeberg won't hurt opposing defenses so much with his legs, but at the same time he doesn't throw as many picks. He finished last season with 25 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. Vandenberg has a strong arm and can throw the ball down the field accurately on a line. We'll see how he fairs this year without big play receiver Marvin McNutt, who was drafted in the 6th round by the Eagles. If Vandenberg can go through his reads quicker and can trust himself to make the tougher throws, he could have an impressive year with the Hawkeyes.