Tag:Big Ten
Posted on: June 2, 2011 1:56 am

May Big Ten Commitment List

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The calendar has turned from May to June and it's time to see how schools are building their class of 2012. Today we'll take a look at the verbal commitments for the Big Ten, where several schools are starting to build momentum on the recruiting trail but Michigan is the leader of the pack. 

Illinois (2)

Wide receiver Elliot Faerber(Shawnee Mission, Kan.)
Wide receiver Jason Robertson (Mokena, Ill.) 


Iowa (1)

Offensive tackle Mitch Kepyy (Port Byron, Ill.)

Michigan (14)

Linebacker Joe Bolden (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Offensive lineman Ben Branden(Rockford, Mich.) 
Defensive end Pharaoh Brown (Lyndhurst, Ohio)
Tight end Devin Funchess (Farmington Hills, Mich.)
Defensive back Allen Gant (Sylvania, Ohio)
Defensive tackle Matthew Godin (Novi, Mich.)
Linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone (Detroit, Mich.)
Defensive end Mario Ojemudia (Farmington Hills, Mich.)
Linebacker Kaleb Ringer (Clayton, Ohio)
Linebacker James Ross (Orchard Lake, Mich.)
Offensive lineman Caleb Stacey (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Cornerback Anthony Standifer (Crete, Ill.)
Tight end A.J. Williams (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Michigan State (4)

Athlete Riley Bullough (Traverse City, Mich.)
Offensive lineman Zach Higgins (Alliance, Ohio)
Tight end Evan Jones (West Lafayette, Ohio)
Offensive lineman Benny McGowan (Centerville, Ohio)


Wide receiver Andre McDonald (Minnetonka, Minn.) 
Quarterback Philip Nelson (Mankato, Minn.) 
Tight end Maxx Williams(Waconia, Minn.)

Nebraska (2)

Linebacker Michael Rose (Kansas City, Mo.)
Wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp (Lombard, Ill.) 

Northwestern (4)

Defensive back Joseph Jones (Plano, Ill.)
Running back Malin Jones(Naperville, Ill.)
Offensive lineman Ian Park (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Offensive lineman Kenton Playko(Lewis Center, Ohio)

Ohio State (8)

Running back Warren Ball (Columbus, Ohio)
Offensive lineman Jacoby Boren (Pickerington, Ohio)
Running back Bri'onte Dunn (Canton, Ohio)
Wide receiver Frank Epitropoulos (Upper Arlington, Ohio)
Offensive lineman Kyle Kalis (Lakewood, Ohio), Tom Lemming Top 100 member
Linebacker Josh Perry(Galena, Ohio)
Defensive back Tyvis Powell (Bedford, Ohio)
Tight end Blake Thomas (Westlake, Ohio) 

Penn State (8)

Offensive lineman J.J. Denman (Fairless Hills, Pa.)
Offensive lineman Brian Gaia (Baltimore, Md.)
Defensive tackle Jarron Jones (Rochester, N.Y.), Tom Lemming Top 100 member
Defensive tackle Jamil Pollard (Westville, N.J.)
Tight end Jesse James(McKeesport, Pa.)
Offensive lineman Anthony Stanko(Warren, Ohio)
Tight end Brent Wilkerson(Hyattsville, Md.)
Linebacker Camren Williams(West Roxbury, Mass.)

Purdue (1)

Defensive back Jordan Shine (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Wisconsin (4)

Running back Vonte Jackson(Kenosha, Wis.)
Linebacker Vince Biegel (Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.), Tom Lemming Top 100 member
Quarterback Bart Houston (Concord, Calif.)
Offensive lineman Dan Voltz(Barrington, Ill.)

Posted on: June 1, 2011 9:45 am

6/1 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The weather is literally heating up across the country but as the calendar has turned to June, recruiting has slowed down thanks to the end of the Spring Evaluation Period. There's still plenty of links though:

- Be sure and check out CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy's story about the issue of oversigning dominiating the SEC spring meetings this week.

- The issues at Ohio State could result in dramatic changes in recruiting in the Big Ten going forward. 

- Eric Berry's younger brothers are definitely going to be a package deal.

- Tight end Josh Parris decommitted from South Florida

- South Carolina extended an offer to safety Lucas Thompson
Posted on: May 23, 2011 10:03 am

5/23 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Lots of conference meetings underway (Big Ten's last week, Big East's this week, SEC's next week, etc.) and recruiting rules and oversigning are expected to be topics of discussion. We'll be sure and track what, if anything, comes out of the meetings. On to the links:

- Some details on what Auburn and Alabama pay for recruiting services.

- Offensive tackle Kameron Davis holds offers from West Virginia, Texas Tech, Louisville and others.

- Defensive tackle Vincent Valentine is planning on taking visits to Florida, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Tennessee.

- Defensive back Josh Holsey will choose a school among Auburn, Georgia, LSU and Virginia Tech tomorrow.

- D.J. Gallo is up to eight offers, N.C. State, Maryland and UConn among them.
Posted on: May 18, 2011 11:35 pm

Penn State keeps Top 100 OT close to home

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Offseason talk in State College the past few years has generally centered on the 'When will Joe Paterno retire?' question. It's a little different in 2011 however, as talk around campus is about Penn State football is a lot less about JoePa and a lot more about what JoePa's assistants are doing on the recruiting trail.

The Nittany Lions continued to build a strong class of 2012 this spring, adding the verbal commitment of Pennsbury (Pa.) offensive lineman J.J. Denman Wednesday evening.

"The coaching staff, first of all, they're great," Denman told Rivals. "Big Ten football, obviously that's pretty good. Penn State has a lot of sports, they have a good athletic program and just being in Pennsylvania, playing for Penn State is a big deal.

The 6-foot-7, 300-pound tackle is expected to come in and compete on the outside right away. Denman recently took an unofficial visit to the school and that seemed to do enough to keep the talented in-state prospect close by.

"(Early playing time) is definitely a plus, and when it became apparent that I could do that, it became a factor," he said. "I had the opportunity to play early at a few places, but I wanted to make sure that I was 100 percent comfortable going in, which would make the transition a little easier.

Denman is the eighth commitment for the Nittany Lions' class of 2012. He is the third offensive lineman and the second the staff is recruiting at tackle.

Ranked 36th in Tom Lemming's Top 100 for 2012, Denman is a four-star prospect who is the seventh-best offensive lineman in a good year for the position.
Posted on: May 18, 2011 5:34 pm

Slive to push oversigning legislation

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

That SEC standoff over oversigning we mentioned earlier this week? It's going to come to a head at the upcoming league meetings in Destin (Fla.), and it sounds as if if Mike Slive has his way, the conference is going to put some serious legislative brakes on the practice.

That news comes straight from Slive himself, who this week told the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that a "package" of legislation aimed at regulating "roster management" would be on the table in Destin ... and that he's hopeful it passes:
"[I]t’s more than just the question of over-signing or grayshirting,” Slive said. “It’s a question of over-signing, grayshirting, early admissions, summer school admission. We’ve put together what we call a bit of a package to address these issues, that will give our people a chance to think about these issues in a more global fashion. So then it will be an important discussion item in Destin ...

"I think the goal is to make sure that our prospective student-athletes are treated in a way that is as they should be treated, like students our [sic] treated. And I think this package does that ..."

Slive indicated that more debate has gone on behind the scenes.

“Well, we’ve had some discussions to get the proposed legislation in place. I can tell you that the First Amendment in the Southeastern Conference is alive and well,” he said. “I have a view and not a vote. And I will certainly exercise my view. ... I like this legislation."
Whether he has a vote or not, that Slive will be pushing for reform should do plenty to boost the package's legislative chances.

It's not a surprise, though, that Slive is at the forefront of the issue. Whether fair or not, there's no debating that the SEC has become the representative face of oversigning thanks to the combination of oversized classes, high-profile grayshirting issues, and its prominence within college football. Already sensitive to accusations from the likes of the Big Ten's Jim Delany that the league doesn't take its classroom reponsibilities seriously enough, Slive must surely feel -- as the SEC's presidents must as well -- that the conference can't let the oversigning issue continue to stereotype it as a place where academic standards are trampled in the name of football.

Beyond that, Slive may also need to push the legislation through to prevent a full-on war of words between his conference's own coaches. When within a week of one making oversigning references to a rival coach so thinly veiled he can't even finish said reference without a fan spoiling it for him, another is straightforwardly exiling five players as part of a post-spring "scholarship evaluation," conflict is inevitable.

Slive should be commended for tackling the issue head-on. But if he can't get his proposed package through the voting process, he's going to have some serious damage control to do ... both in the public eye outside the league, and in the not-so-civil public discourse within it.

Posted on: May 11, 2011 11:24 am

Michigan gets first 2013 commitment

Posted by Bryan Fischer

When Michigan head coach Brady Hoke was hired, he was like many new head coaches who said recruiting was a priority, especially in-state. Despite having to hit the ground sprinting, he ended up putting together a solid class of 2011 and has been making headway with a possible top 15 class in 2012.

Warren (Mich.) quarterback Shane Morris has taken note and decided to help be the cornerstone piece of an even better class of 2013, committing to the Wolverines Tuesday night.

"When I told Coach Hoke I was committing, he screamed, 'What?!' He jumped out of his seat and gave me a hug, called the coaches into his office and they all welcomed me. He even called his wife and told her," Morris told TheWolverine.com. "It was crazy."

A left-handed sophomore, Morris is one of the top quarterbacks in the midwest and already held offers from Michigan State and Cincinnati among others. His offer from Michigan came in March and making a commitment to his childhood favorite had been on his mind ever since then.

"It was a huge offer," Morris said. "I was really honored and really excited. It was just a huge surprise for me. I worked hard for it, but I wasn't expecting anything like this this early.

"My whole family grew up Michigan fans and watching Michigan football. Tom Brady is the main quarterback I idolize today. I try to learn from him and watch game film of him."

The 6-foot-3, 185 pound signal caller threw for 1,150 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore last season. He becomes the first commitment for any Big Ten school in the class of 2013

Posted on: May 9, 2011 11:09 am
Edited on: May 9, 2011 11:16 am

Post-Spring Top 25: Impact Recruits

Posted by Bryan Fischer

CBSSports.com senior writer Dennis Dodd rolls out an updated Post-Spring Top 25 today and while he names an MVP for each team, we figure every team is going to need an incoming freshman to step up if they want to keep their spot in the top 25 throughout the season. Here's each team's impact freshman out of their class of 2011:

1. Oklahoma: Dodd notes that the class of 2010 has turned out very well for the Sooners but they'll need a few guys from the class of 2011 to help fill out the depth chart. Running back Brandon Williams is a talented running back out of the state of Texas who is expected to play right away with DeMarco Murrary gone and the offense needing another player in their "diamond" formation with three running backs. 

2. Alabama: Alabama's defense is expected to be one of the best Nick Saban has ever had but that doesn't mean a freshman can't be a contributor on special teams and with spot play on defense. Linebacker Trey DePriest enrolled early and seemed to make an impression on the coaching staff. Junior college transfer Aaron Douglas, a freshman All-American at Tennessee, could also end up being a starting tackle too.

3. LSU: Anthony Johnson was one of the top defensive tackles coming out of high school and he looked like he would be the next great LSU man in the middle after a very good spring for an early enrollee. He has the size and quickness to play right away and could make an impact as a pass rusher on third down as he gets acclimated to the speed of college football.


4. Oregon: The Ducks don't have to replace much on offense but they are looking for a few pass catching threats to step up for quarterback Darron Thomas. Another early enrollee and one of the highest rated recruits Oregon has brought in, Colt Lyerla could be one of the answers at tight end, receiver and running back. In short, he's a great athlete and Chip Kelly will find a way to get the ball in his hands.

5. Stanford: The Cardinal are pretty set on offense with Andrew Luck back and running the show but there are a few spots on defense where some freshmen could come in. The new staff must find two new linebackers for this upcoming season and it wouldn't be surprising if James Vaughters ends up making a push for one of them.

6. Oklahoma State: Already expected to have an explosive offense this year to possibly propel them to a BCS game, the Cowboys have high hopes for incoming running back Herschel Sims. Defenses will have to make sure they are ready for the passing game first and Sims might be able to take advantage of some daylight.

7. Texas A&M: Defensive leader Von Miller is off to the NFL (if there is an NFL next year) and while it will be hard for any freshman to replace that kind of production in College Station, look for linebacker Shaun Ward to at least be in the mix to play once he gets on campus.

8. Florida State: The Seminoles are going to have high expectations for the first time in awhile and there are high expectations being placed on incoming tight end Nick O'Leary. While most people talk about him as being the grandson of golfer Jack Nicklaus, the talented O'Leary is also quite a pass catcher who should play right away.

9. Ohio State: There could be two impact players for the Buckeyes depending on how things shake out in fall camp. Quarterback Braxton Miller is certainly in the race to be the starter with Terrelle Pryor suspended for five games and showed flashes during the spring. Linebacker Curtis Grant was one of the top players coming out of high school and should be able to fill in right away on defense.

10. Nebraska: The Huskers have their sights on a Big Ten title in their first year in the league and if they're going to take some pressure off quarterback Taylor Martinez, running back Aaron Green could be a big part of the offense.

11. Michigan State: Mark Dantonio fought off some big time programs for in-state linebacker Lawrence Thomas and one of the reasons why is Thomas is expected to come in right away and play well for the Spartans.

12. Wisconsin: The Badgers typically don't play many freshmen but tight end Austin Traylor could help break in a new quarterback as both a blocker and receiver.


13. Arkansas: Brey Cook knew the Razorbacks would need to replace both tackles and he enrolled early and ended up at the top of the depth chart coming out of spring ball. Anytime you can get a young freshmen start at tackle, you know you have a good one on your hands.

14. Boise State: Most of the freshmen for Boise State are expected to redshirt and develop but kicker Jake van Ginkel could end up the starter with a good fall camp because he has quite a leg.


15. Auburn: Where to start? The Tigers lose a lot of players to either graduation or the draft and several from this class are expected to compete for playing time. Don't be surprised if Kris Frost is a starter at linebacker and able to leave his mark on the Plains early on.

16. TCU: Gary Patterson expereinced a Rose Bowl bounce on the recruiting trail and landed a very good athlete in LaDarius Brown, who will be able to contribute right away on offense and special teams.

17. Virginia Tech: The Hokies need to replace a lot of their secondary and the incoming class is loaded with defensive backs as a result. Ronny Vandyke might be the one to step up based on his size and speed and help out right away.

18. South Carolina: This happens to be the easiest choice on the list since Jadeveon Clowney was the number player in the class of 2011. He should provide an instant pass rush threat to a team that didn't generate much from the front four last year.

19. Notre Dame: Irish fans came out of the spring singing the praises of Aaron Lynch and the early enrollee defensive end certainly put on a show to give them a reason for it.


20. Mississippi State: Defensive tackle P.J. Jones was one of the top guys in the incoming class and Bulldog fans hope he can be a factor early on under a new defensive coordinator. 


21. Arizona State: There's very few spots avaliable for the incoming Sun Devils with so much of the starting lineup set with upperclassmen but Mo Latu should be able to provide some depth along the offensive line. 


22. Utah: The Utes brought in a very good class and you could tell they sold the opportunity to be the first to play in the Pac-12 their entire careers at Utah. Running back Harvey Langi is a load with the football and junior college safety Keith McGill is a big body who can come in play right away.

23. Georgia: The "Dream Team" recruiting class will come into Athens with high expectations but top running back Isaiah Crowell should boost a rushing attack that was in the bottom three in the SEC last year.


24. West Virginia: New offensive coordinator/future head coach Dana Holgorsen should have an explosive offense led by Geno Smith and incoming running back Andrew Buie could be another speedy player to get the ball in his hands.

25. Florida: The Gators will transition to more of a pro-style offense under Charlie Weis so it's to be determined how everyone fits in but look out for tight end A.C. Leonard. He looks the part and could be a nice weapon for quarterback John Brantley. 

Posted on: May 8, 2011 8:22 pm

Michigan picks up talented defensive duo

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Things are certainly humming in Ann Arbor on the recruiting front so far under the new Michigan head coach Brady Hoke. Despite not even coaching a game yet, Hoke and defensive coordinator Greg Mattison have put together a strong defensive recruiting class and added to it over the weekend with the commitments of Lyndhurst (Ohio) defensive end Pharaoh Brown and Farmington Hills (Mich.) defensive end Mario Ojemudia on Saturday.

"I committed to Michigan," Brown told TheWolverine.com. "Coach Hoke wasn't there, but we had called him and he was pretty loud. Coach Mattison was pumped up and everybody was happy."

"We took an academic tour, then we went back to the coaches' offices," Ojemudia told the website. "Me, a couple of the coaches and my parents sat down and I told them I wanted to go to Michigan. They seemed really excited when I announced it."

Brown is a 6-foot-6, 220 pound speed rusher off the edge and was the first at his position to give a commitment to the Wolverines. He held offers from Boston College, Louisville, Michigan State, Nebraska and West Virginia among others but his second trip to Ann Arbor in three months firmly turned his recruitment in favor of Michigan, enough for him to make a commitment.

"The coaching staff is a good coaching staff and the scheme that they are trying to run - I know I can succeed and dominate the field in that scheme," Brown said. "Then, with the academics and feeling comfortable on campus, that's what pretty much set them apart."

Ojemudia had 103 tackles and six sacks as a junior last year and, like Brown, was impressed with academics at the school. Ultimately though, it was the coaching staff and system that ultimately led to his Michigan verbal pledge.

"It was mostly the coaches. I really see myself playing under them for the next four years," Ojemudia said. "Another big part was the defense. Michigan is going to be a defensive team and Coach Mattison said I would be a hybrid d-end/outside linebacker and rush the quarterback."

The pair gives Hoke and the Wolverines an even 10 commitment for the class of 2012 so far, tops in the Big Ten. Ojemudia joins high school teammate Devin Funchess, a tight end, in the class as well.

After struggling on defense most of last season, Michigan seems to be loading up on defense this class with the promise of early playing time. Six of their 10 commitments play a front seven position and they're in the running to pick up several more defenders in this class.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com