Our “49 in 49” series continues this week with a day-by-day examination on some of the top players hailing from the Big Ten Conference.
Currently, the 49ers have seven players on the roster that played collegiately in the Big Ten.
Led by four representatives from Ohio State (Donte Whitner, Alex Boone, Ted Ginn Jr. and Larry Grant), the 49ers added to the group last offseason, first by hiring head coach Jim Harbaugh and then by signing a fellow Michigan man, center Jonathan Goodwin to a three-year contract.
It’s worth paying attention to when the 49ers draft Big Ten players, too.
The last time the 49ers chose a player out of the power conference, general manager Trent Baalke plucked Penn State linebacker NaVorro Bowman with the No. 91 overall pick in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Bowman became a full-time starter in 2011, led the 49ers in tackles and was selected as an All-Pro.
So who will potentially join the 49ers in this year’s draft? That remains to be seen. However, several top prospects are entering the draft from Big Ten schools coming off a competitive season.
In conference play, Wisconsin dropped a few last-second games, but rebounded to win the inaugural Big Ten Championship game over Michigan State, one of the teams which narrowly beat the Badgers in the regular season.
With several standouts from both schools representing the conference in this year’s draft, as well as a number of intriguing players out there for the taking, which Big Ten players would you like to see wearing a 49ers uniform in 2012?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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