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The Big Ten football season starts Thursday, with Eastern Illinois playing at Minnesota and Rutgers making its conference debut at Washington State.

So who is the best player in the Big Ten? Tom Dienhart of the Big Ten Network says it's Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff.

Here's Dienhart's look at the five best players in the league:

1. Brandon Scherff, offensive tackle, Iowa. A real monster for that Iowa offensive line.

2. Melvin Gordon, running back, Wisconsin. Just a big play waiting to happen.

3. Randy Gregory, defensive end, Nebraska. The best defensive end in the Big Ten.

4. Shilique Calhoun, defensive end, Michigan State. He's going to be the lynchpin to what should be another tremendous Spartan defense.

5. Ameer Abdullah, running back, Nebraska. He's the leading returning rusher in the Big Ten this year.

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