Tag:Bo Pelini
Posted on: February 27, 2012 5:52 pm
 

McWilson is Nebraska's second 2013 commit

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Nebraska had a slow start to the class of 2012 and the coaching staff certainly doesn't want a repeat effort. Things are looking better in 2013 with a commitment on Monday from Youngstown (Ohio) defensive back Marcus McWilson.

“I just feel I have an opportunity to play and make a difference,” McWilson told 247Sports. He also returned a kickoff for a touchdown. “I can get out there on the field which is nice and what I like. Hopefully we can win some championships. I know Nebraska has great potential and great opportunities and I’d like to be a part of that. I was talking to my family about it and we all think it’s a good fit. We’re definitely excited about it.”

The 6-foot, 190-pound prospect also held offers from Illinois, Michigan State and West Virginia among others. McWilson will head to Nebraska however, mainly due to the relationship he's developed with the coaching staff.

“The coaches seem humble,” McWilson said. “I’ve been talking to Coach JP (John Papuchis) and I know Coach (Bo) Pelini. He’s definitely a nice guy and they’re all good people up there. Talking to the coaches they made me feel good.”

McWilson is the second commitment for the Cornhuskers class of 2013, both of whom are from out of state. Last season as a junior, the talented safety had eight interceptions.
Posted on: February 23, 2012 1:25 pm
 

2/23 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer
Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster will transfer high schools after his head coach was fired and will take a few visits.

 Several schools are pursuing top talent in Indianapolis, including Elijah Daniel who picked up offers from Kentucky, Michigan and others.

Bo Pelini has enlisted an outside firm in order to help the Nebraska staff recruit better.

 Michigan has filled their early needs but still have plenty of work left to do on the recruiting trail.

 Multiyear scholarships might give Georgia a small recruiting edge.

 D-end Devin Washington is talking with South Carolina.

 Minnesota is the latest to offer running back Jabo Lee.

Posted on: February 7, 2012 9:39 am
Edited on: February 7, 2012 9:55 am
 

2/7 Recruiting Roundup

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Louisville intends to spread a wider net for recruits going forward.

 A look at some of Georgia's top 2013 targets.

 Ohio State and Michigan are back to being major players in recruiting thanks to their head coaches.

 Quarterback Kenny Hill could be the top 2013 player in the Dallas area and already has Baylor, Texas A&M and Texas Tech offers.

 Comparing Virginia Tech and Virginia's recruiting classes.

 Florida State's big time defensive line class could lead to fearsome play out of the unit.

 Chuck Martin gave some insight into the Notre Dame recruiting process.

 The recruitment of James Gray was a lot different than his son Johnathan's to Texas.

 Alabama comes out on top in a re-ranking of 2009 classes.

 Bo Pelini's first recruiting class is striving to go out with a bang.

 An Australian weightlifter is looking at playing football, possibly at Michigan State.

Posted on: January 27, 2012 1:36 pm
 

Nebraska adds RB Imani Cross

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Running back Imani Cross of North Hall in Gainesville, Georgia committed to Nebraska on Thursday night, bringing Bo Pelini's 2012 class to 14 commits.

Cross had been down to Nebraska and Kentucky but committed to the Cornhuskers after an in-home visit from Pelini on Thursday night.

"It's official, he's a Cornhusker," Cross' father, Tim Cross, told HuskerOnline. "It's Nebraska. Great people, great atmosphere, coaches, coach (Ron) Brown, coach (Bo) Pelini, coach (Tim) Beck, I mean everything - all of the above."

"Because we weren't there for the official visit, him being so far from home, we wanted to be sure it was okay for him. It is okay. It's okay with us. It's his decision. And we support our son in whatever he wants to do. He had the other place, Kentucky, deep in his heart as well, but the deciding factor was the relationship and the definite place was where he'd be playing. It was as a Cornhusker and we got that cleared up tonight. It wasn't going to be a long drawn out process for him to make a decision."

Cross rushed for 1,706 yards and 24 touchdowns in 10 games for North Hall in 2011, averaging 8.9 yards per carry and 170.6 yards per game.

 
Posted on: January 24, 2012 3:33 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:12 pm
 

Big Ten Signing Day Overview



Posted by Bryan Fischer


National Signing Day is almost here and recruits across the country are gearing up for plenty of last-minute pitches and school visits as head coaches look to shape their program for years to come. The Big Ten used to be like the football on the field against SEC opponents, a step slow and a little behind. That's no longer the case thanks to recent hires Urban Meyer at Ohio State and Brady Hoke at Michigan. They say the rivalry between the two schools is everyday and based on how the two newcomers are hitting the recruiting trail, the Midwest is suddenly one of the top battlegrounds in the country.

MaxPreps.com Top 25 Team Rankings, Big Ten
College Commits Top 100 Moving
3. Michigan 24 4
5. Ohio State 23 5

Top storylines

1. Who else does Urban Meyer flip?

Big Ten meet Urban, he's a good recruiter. Some would call him relentless. In just a short time since his hiring, Meyer has taken the Buckeyes from middle of the back in the conference to one of the top five classes nationally. He's flipped several players and seems to have targeted what was Penn State's recruiting class in particular. Not everybody was spared, including Michigan State who lost Se'Von Pittman. Although scholarship reductions will put a crunch on the numbers, the current group isn't a finished product and the Buckeyes are still in the running for players like Armani Reeves so it's possible Meyer scores another big time player.

2. Does Michigan win the head-to-head battle with Ohio State?

At one point, Michigan was lapping the rest of the Big Ten when it came to recruiting but with Meyer in Columbus, the equation has changed slightly. The Wolverines have undergone some defections in the last month but the group of current commitments still adds depth at much needed positions and gives the program what might be the best incoming offensive line group in the country. It's possible to call the two schools' classes equal on the home stretch even if Michigan is ahead in the latest Maxpreps team rankings. The Buckeyes have more star power and are loaded along the defensive line, will that be enough to overtake a deep group of UM commits come Signing Day? Should be interesting to find out.

3. Does anyone else come close?

There's only two conference teams listed in the top 25 classes and that about sums up the situation in the Midwest. To be in an analogous mood, Ohio State is like a Ferrari and Michigan is a Lamborghini while the rest of the Big Ten is driving Yugos. It's not that there's bad players coming in, it's just that there's not enough of them. Indiana, Minnesota and others appear to be set in terms of recruiting but they are not filled with elite players. Michigan State, Wisconsin and others have gone for quality but haven't come close to getting any quantity. It should make for an interesting conference reset come February 2 to see if anybody can cobble together a top 25 class and even come close to what Michigan and Ohio State have done on the recruiting trail.

4. What does newcomer Nebraska's class look like?

It's not big, it's not spectacular and it's left many fans wondering what the heck is up. We're not talking about the latest menu addition at Jack-in-the-Box but Nebraska's recruiting class. Although the season fell short of expectations not many expected the Cornhuskers to struggle this much in terms of recruiting. There's some solid players among the commits, such as wide out Jordan Westerkamp and linebacker Michael Rose but there doesn't appear to be a huge name to be found among the bunch that can come in and leave an impression. The overall number of commits, 13 a week away from Signing Day, is also concerning. It's very possible that Bo Pelini ends up with a decent class of 2012 but, at the moment, it's going to take a lot of work to do so.

Most impressive class: Ohio State

Most underrated class: Wisconsin

Work left to do: Nebraska

Top Players to Watch
Name Pos Committed
3. Noah Spence DE Ohio State
14. Stefon Diggs WR Uncommitted
26. Josh Garnett OL Uncommitted
34. Vince Biegel LB Wisconsin
40. Phillip Nelson QB Minnesota
 47. Tommy Schutt DT Ohio State
49. Adolphus Washington DE Ohio State
52. Chris Wormley DL Michigan
54. Greg Garmon RB Iowa
55. Jordan Westerkamp WR Nebraska
 

Assistant recruiters of note:

Mike Ekeler, Indiana
Eric Johnson, Iowa
Fred Jackson, Greg Mattison and Mark Smith, Michigan
Pat Narduzzi, Michigan State
Matt Limegrover, Minnesota
John Papuchis, Nebraska
Matt MacPherson, Northwestern
Luke Fickell, Tom Herman and Everett Withers, Ohio State
Larry Johnson, Mac McWhorter and Ron Vanderlinden, Penn State
Gary Nord, Purdue
Mike Markuson and Matt Canada, Wisconsin

Head coach under pressure: Bill O'Brien, Penn State

Top Big Ten class prediction: Ohio State

Top Big Ten signee: Noah Spence

Big Ten school-by-school
Legends Division Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
19 DE Faith Ekakite
RB Greg Garmon
DT Jaleel Johnson
A solid class that is heavy along both lines, Ekakite and Johnson are two top pick ups for the Hawkeyes. Given depth issues and his talent, Garmon has a chance to start right away.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 LB Royce Jenkins-Stone
OL Kyle Kalis
OL Erik Magnuson
DB Terry Richardson
The Wolverines held the top spot in the class rankings for most of the year and still have a chance to finish there on Signing Day. This is a great group, especially on the o-line, that fills most of the team's depth needs and should make defensive coordinator Greg Mattison very happy.
- Team page
- Commitment list
16 WR Aaron Burbridge
LB Jamal Lyles
QB Tyler O'Connor
A solid but not spectacular class, the Spartans have several diamonds in the rough (so to speak). O'Connor might need a few years but he's got the talent to develop into a very good Big Ten signal-caller.
- Team page
- Commitment list
28 QB Phillip Nelson
OL Jonah Pirsig
 It's not often the Gophers land one top 250 player so it's impressive that Jerry Kill was able to snag two of them. Nelson is a local kid who should adjust well after a redshirt year. There's plenty of Juco transfers to help provide an immediate boost.
- Team page
- Commitment list
13 DE Greg McMullen
OL Paul Thurston
WR Jordan Westerkamp
Needless to say, Bo Pelini still has a lot to work on with this class. The size stands out first and it remains to be seen if the Huskers close strong or just fill out spaces this year. Westerkamp is a good pick up who should play early.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 RB Malin Jones
DE Ifeadi Odenigbo
OL Ian Park
It's always difficult to project where Northwestern's class ends up but there a lot of solid contributors in this group mixed with some impact players like Jones. Odenigbo is a huge boost and should be a situational pass rusher from the start.
Leaders Division Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
15 DB TaJarvis Fuller
DT Teko Powell
DT Vontrell Williams
Ron Zook didn't exactly get this class off to a flying start and once he was fired, it took a further nose dive. There's some solid players committed so far but it remains to be seen what becomes of this essentially lost class.
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 LB Jacarri Alexander
WR Kevin Davis
Kevin Wilson has gone after a few guys that fit his system and though they might not be as big or fast as others, might work out just fine in Bloomington.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 RB Bri'onte Dunn
DT Tommy Shutt
DE Noah Spence
DE Adolphus Washington
This class was dead in the water for most of the year but has quickly gone from so-so to top five nationally thanks to Meyer. There's a few offensive contributors but the real star power in this group is along the front seven.
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 TE Jesse James
RB Akeel Lynch
DB Armani Reeves
It's amazing this class is as big as it is given all that has happened in State College and the fact that the new head coach hasn't done any in-home visits. James is the best of the bunch and has the potential to be an all-conference tight end.
- Team page
- Commitment list
25 QB Austin Appleby
QB Bilal Marshall
OL Jordan Roos
DE Ryan Watson
The Boilermakers got themselves a steal in the strong-armed Appleby. Watson and Roos will be two solid contributors along each line too.
- Team page
- Commitment list
11 LB Vince Biegel
QB Bart Houston
OL Dan Voltz
OL Walker Williams
Quality not quantity is the phrase used for the Badgers class. While there's not a breakaway skill position player in the group, the OL is one of the best in the conference and Houston is a perfect fit for the offense at quarterback.

Posted on: August 3, 2011 2:18 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 2:19 pm
 

Halfway to Signing Day: Big Ten Edition

Posted by Bryan Fischer

We're right about halfway to Signing Day and that means it is time to take a look at the Big Ten and see how the conference is shaping up on the recruiting trail. Here's a few accolades for a few of the programs who are making head way (or not) at this point in August.

Big Ten Commitment List

Best class: Michigan

Quite the impact Brady Hoke has made in just a few months at the helm. The Wolverines have the top class in the country at the halfway point and have blown rival Ohio State out of the water on the recruiting trail. The program has five Top 100 players committed, with several others that are in the mix to make the list by Signing Day. This is a strong class that will be counted on to make an impact early in Ann Arbor with the transition to the new regime. 

Work left to do: Nebraska

Bo Pelini and company haven't seen a big bounce from moving to the Big Ten just yet. The Cornhuskers have one of the smallest recruiting classes in the country at the moment and though they have some nice players, such as linebacker Michael Rose, there just isn't any depth or impact players at this point in the process.

Under the radar class: Wisconsin

It's a small class but what it lacks in quantity, Brett Bielema more than makes up for in quality. Three of the eight players committed are in the Top 100 and they address key positions at quarterback, offensive line and linebacker. Bart Houston is a perfect fit for what the Badgers do on offense and they have done a great job of getting the best player in the state in Vince Biegel. Wisconsin is still in the running for several other players and could finish strong come Signing Day.

Top commit: Quarterback Gunner Kiel (Columbus, Ind.), committed to Indiana

Loading up: Northwestern (6) and Michigan on offensive linemen (5), Michigan State on wide receivers (3), Penn State on tight ends (3).

Frequent Fliers: Purdue with commitments from eight states.

Fence builders: Ohio State, all of the school's commitments are from Ohio.

Road to Signing Day storyline: Will Ohio State land some elite talent?

It's not fun for Ohio State to see Michigan grab all the headlines on the recruiting trail (though, as any Buckeye will remind you, it has been awhile since they had a headline about beating their rival on the field). Given the coaching change and possible NCAA sanctions, there's a great deal of uncertainty and that has translated into a lack of production at the halfway point. Ohio State is one of the few places that can land elite recruits despite off the field issues because they continually send players to the NFL. The issues are a little bit different this year but if USC could the past two years, so can Ohio State. The only question might be when, not if, the Buckeyes will land some elite recruits between now and February.

Top 25 Teams:

1. Michigan
18. Wisconsin
20. Michigan State



Posted on: June 24, 2011 12:22 am
Edited on: June 24, 2011 3:17 pm
 

Nebraska raids Ohio for defensive end

Posted by Bryan Fischer

As soon as Nebraska's move to the Big Ten was announced, many thought that the Huskers would begin to recruit the state of Ohio heavily as they distanced themselves from the Big 12 and their pipeline from the state of Texas. While the program will still try to maintain ties to the South, with a weakened Ohio State and head coach Bo Pelini's ties to Ohio, it appears that Nebraska might end up making a dent in the state sooner rather than later.

“I committed to Nebraska,” Akron (Ohio) defensive end Greg McMullen told HuskersIllustrated.com Thursday night. “I actually did it a few days ago, but I try to stay out of the media.

“I talked to the defensive coordinator and the defensive line coach. I’m going to call Coach Pelini tonight.”

The 6-foot-5, 255-pound end held scholarship offers from schools such as Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan State and Purdue. He is the second defensive lineman to commit to the school in as many days and was attracted to the success the program had at sending players to the NFL.

“I’m a defensive guy and in the last three or four years Nebraska has had some great defensive lines. They had Ndamukong Suh and then there’s Jared Crick," he said. "It’s a defensive-minded school and Bo Pelini is a defensive coach.”

McMullen had 55 tackles and 8 sacks as a junior last season. He is the Huskers' first commitment from the state of Ohio and fourth overall.


Posted on: February 2, 2011 9:31 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2011 10:29 pm
 

Big Ten Signing Day: Winners/Losers

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Overview: Overall it was a pretty good recruiting season for the Big Ten. There weren't a whole lot of shocking decisions on National Signing Day, though both Ohio State and Iowa were able to pick up some key members of their 2011 class.

Winners

Ohio State - Ohio State generally leads the Big Ten in recruiting every season, and 2011's class doesn't seem to be any different. While the Buckeyes had a strong class coming into Wednesday's festivities, getting Curtis Grant to commit during the day put this class over the edge. Grant joins what should be a strong class on defense, where the Buckeyes will look to replace Cam Heyward with guys like Kenny Hayes, Chase Farris and Steve Miller in a few years. Of course, Jim Tressel didn't concentrate solely on defense, as the Bucks picked up quarterback Braxton Miller as the possible successor to Terrelle Pryor in 2012.

Iowa - The Hawkeyes and Kirk Ferentz never seem to put together a jaw-dropping class, yet every year they tend to find themselves ranked in the top 25 classes. This year is no different, as MaxPreps has Iowa at 17, and the Hawkeyes signed 23 players. The final player was DT Darian Cooper, who chose Iowa on Wednesday, and comes from the same school Iowa landed RB Marcus Coker from last season. Kirk Ferentz generally doesn't go for flash as much as he finds players he can mold and fit into his system at Iowa, but you should expect to grow more familiar with names like Rodney Coe, Ray Hamilton, Austin Blythe and Jordan Walsh in the next few seasons.

Nebraska - Welcome to the Big Ten, Nebraska. The Cornhuskers had a good class coming into National Signing Day, but added the crown jewel on Wednesday with running back Aaron Green. Green combined with all the beef Bo Pelini is bringing in on the offensive and defensive lines should have his team ready for its new home. Of course, the wild card in all of this is quarterback Bubba Starling. He's the type of player that could make this a great class, but a lot of people seem convinced that Starling will never play a down in Lincoln, as he's expected to be a first round draft pick in the MLB draft this summer.

Losers

Penn State - There are plenty of talented players coming to Happy Valley next season. Defensive ends Deion Barnes, Shawn Oakman and QB/DB Bill Belton are strong, athletic players. The problem with Penn State's class this season is its just not up to snuff for Penn State. A 16-member class just isn't what the Nittany Lions are accustomed to, and you really have to wonder how much longer Penn State can afford to stand by Joe Paterno. When two of your best recruiters, Larry Johnson Sr and Tom Bradley, are spending time looking for new jobs instead of working recruits -- which may have cost Penn State Ishaq Williams -- then things need to be fixed. This may be Joe Paterno's last Signing Day at Penn State.

Michigan - Don't get me wrong, Michigan has a nice class. A class that got even better on Wednesday with tight end Chris Barnett, but I'm putting them in the losers section based on what this class could have been. The Wolverines lost a lot of talent after firing Rich Rodriguez, and Brady Hoke just didn't have a chance to keep guys like Dee Hart in Ann Arbor. As a result, a potentially great class can only be considered solid at this point.

Purdue - Listen, nobody was expecting Danny Hope and Purdue to blow the doors off of this class, but while they put together a nice class, it's certainly not the type that will help propel Purdue up from the bottom half of the Big Ten. Plus, anytime you're a school that needs as many athletes as it can get, getting banned from a high school in Florida is probably the worst thing you can do.



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