Tag:Big Ten
Posted on: January 17, 2012 6:30 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 6:31 pm

O'Connor latest lineman to join Ohio State class

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Urban Meyer's recruiting haul continued on Tuesday, with Windsor (Col.) offensive lineman Joey O'Connor becoming the latest to commit to Ohio State's impressive class of 2012.

"I called coach Meyer and he was excited that I committed and welcomed me to the family," O'Connor told BuckeyeGrove.com.

The 6-foot-4, 290-pound lineman was previously committed to Penn State and also considered California and Iowa seriously. O'Connor but did not hold an offer from the Buckeyes until visiting this past weekend but made the decision to commit after getting one and talking things over with his family.

"Yeah (the visit) was good," he said. "They and I feel that it is what is best for me."

O'Connor gives Ohio State 21 commitments for the class of 2012, which will sign in just over two weeks. He is also the fourth lineman to pledge to Meyer this year and might not be the last.

Posted on: January 16, 2012 3:45 pm

Meyer flips another, brings Decker on board

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Urban Meyer hasn't been shy about showing some committed recruits about the virtues of playing football at Ohio State and it worked once again as he flipped Vandalia (Ohio) offensive tackle Tyler Decker from Notre Dame on Sunday.

"I grew up an Ohio State fan and when this all started Ohio State was one of my top three schools," Decker told Scout. "I feel coach Meyer is going to do great things at Ohio State and get things back on track with the program. Having the opportunity to play for him is amazing."

The 6-foot-8, 290-pound tackle had other factors in changing his commitment from the Irish to the Buckeyes. Notre Dame's offensive line coach Ed Warinner and Decker's primiary recruiter, running backs coach Tim Hinton, left South Bend to join Meyer's staff last a week prior to his official visit and played a role in addition to academics.

“I would say there were several things in my decision,” said Decker. “The first was academics. Notre Dame is a very prestigious school and would provide me a great education. However, when I made my commitment I knew Notre Dame did not have my major and that bothered me."

Decker becomes Ohio State's 20th commitment for the class of 2012 and third along the offensive line.
Posted on: January 10, 2012 11:59 am

Live Chat: Bryan Fischer talks Recruiting

Join recruiting blogger Bryan Fischer for a live chat at 1 p.m. ET to talk about the Top 25 Recruiting Rankings, which has Alabama at No. 1.

Can Alabama and Nick Saban dominate the college football world for the next few seasons? How are USC and Oregon doing recruiting wise? What should we expect on National Signing Day on Feb. 1? Join us to answer these questions and more.

Posted on: December 30, 2011 10:15 am

Purdue snags big defensive end Ryan Watson

Posted by Bryan Fischer

It's not too often that Purdue is associated with a top prospect but the Boilermakers reeled one in on Thursday with the commitment of Olney (Md.) defensive end Ryan Watson.

"Mainly it was Coach (Gary) Emmanuel. He's a good coach and I've known him for a while," Watson told Rivals. "It was also the atmosphere. I've got to live there and it's a good atmosphere and real good people. The area around it is real communal, and that really surprised me."

The 6-foot-3, 275-pound end selected Purdue over offers from Georgia Tech, Iowa, Michigan, Penn State and others. One of the biggest reasons why Watson picked the school was due to academics.

"When you graduate from Purdue it is a real good degree, so that is another thing," he said. "Going in and getting my degree and getting my education is what I am mainly looking at."

Watson becomes the 25th player overall and third defensive end to commit to the Boilermakers' class of 2012.

"He looks to be an All-American at both the DT and OT positions," analyst Tom Lemming said. "He could wind up playing DT or OG in college. A versatile performer, he shows explosive moves off the ball, good short area burst, he's quick to shoot gaps, can run well laterally, and has a good motor."
Posted on: December 27, 2011 6:28 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 7:06 pm

Top quarterback Gunner Kiel commits to LSU

Posted by Bryan Fischer

After decommitting from Indiana and delaying his decision several times, Columbus (Ind.) quarterback Gunner Kiel has finally pulled the trigger and committed to LSU.

"I can't wait to play in the SEC," Kiel told 247Sports. "A lot of people call it the NFL of college football and it will be an exciting time. It would mean a lot to be a starting quarterback in such a great conference at a great school. I really love the players and the coaching staff. They were all great to me on my visit and seemed very welcoming."

Ranked as the top signal-caller in the class of 2012 and number two overall recruit by Maxpreps, Kiel holds scholarship offers from just about every program in the country, including Alabama, Oklahoma, Michigan, USC and others. He surprised plenty of folks by committing to Indiana in late July and new head coach Kevin Wilson but opened things back up in October. He quickly scheduled official visits to each of his finalists, Notre Dame, LSU and Vanderbilt.

"To be honest I'm just reevaluating my decision," Kiel told CBSSports.com at the time. "I just want to go out and see other places and see if IU is the right place."

The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder threw for 2,517 yards and 28 touchdowns this season while also rushing for 11 scores. He led Columbus East to an 11-2 record his senior year and was named Indiana's "Mr. Football" by the Indianapolis Star.

Kiel's brother, Dusty, is a sophomore at Indiana and his uncle, Blair, played at Notre Dame.

The strong-armed and aptly named Gunner will enroll early in Baton Rouge after playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on January 7th.

The commitment of the top quarterback in the country is another big boost for the Tigers class of 2012, which now sits at 22 commits. LSU took three quarterbacks with last year's class and Kiel figures to battle talented junior college transfer Zach Mettenberger for the starting job upon arriving on campus. Prior to Kiel's pledge, Les Miles' next recruiting class was ranked 9th overall in the MaxPreps team rankings.

Posted on: December 21, 2011 2:42 pm

Wide receiver Chesson picks Michigan

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Michigan's top ranked recruiting class added another piece Wednesday morning. St. Louis (Mo.) wide receiver Jehu Chesson made things official by committing to the Wolverines, according to multiple reports.

The 6-foot-3, 180-pounder held scholarship offers from Missouri, Northwestern, Iowa and UCLA among others.

Chesson becomes the Wolverines 24th commit in the class of 2012 and second receiver, joining fellow midwest wide out Amara Darboh. The pair badly fill a position of need for the team ahead of Signing Day.

"He is one of the hardest working WR's I've seen in getting off the line, finding the open seam, and catching everything within reach," analyst Tom Lemming said. "He has tremendous work ethic and is not satisfied with being just a good player. Like the above mentioned receivers, he's a tall, athletic, and agile WR with soft, natural hands. He catches the ball away from his body and normally in full stride, adjusts well to poorly thrown balls, and catches the ball in traffic on a regular basis."

Chesson caught 53 passes for 757 yards and six touchdowns as a senior.
Posted on: December 18, 2011 7:38 pm

Meyer lands top defensive end Noah Spence

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Urban Meyer has taken over Ohio State and quickly brought in a defensive line class that rivals any in the country. The latest addition came Sunday with Harrisburg (Pa.) five-star Noah Spence, who committed on his official visit to Columbus on Sunday.

"I am committed to Ohio State and I just decided to do it before the Under-Armour game," Spence told Scout. "I We went into Urban Meyer's office and I said Coach I am done and I want to be a part of the Buckeye Nation. I'd still like to announce on TV where I am going, but I didn't want to wait anymore."

The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Spence is ranked as the nation's top defensive end and number three overall prospect by Maxpreps. He held scholarship offers from just about every program from coast-to-coast but the comfort factor with Meyer and Ohio State allowed him to commit while on his visit.

"It feels so great, I am truly blessed," he said. "Feels like I got the monkey off my back and I thank God for being with me every step of the way and for blessing myself and my family."

Spence is the Buckeyes' 19th commitment for the class of 2012 and joins fellow top 100 recruits Se'Von Pittman and Tommy Schutt on the defensive line. He amassed 98 tackles and 12.5 sacks during his senior season and should compete for a starting spot early on at Ohio State.

"He blends great size with speed, quickness, and power," analyst Tom Lemming said of Spence. "He has a keen sense for the football and uses it on every down. Remarkably active with a terrific burst, he's able to rip off blocks with strong hands and tremendous natural strength."

Posted on: December 6, 2011 9:58 am

Michigan finds wide receiver in Darboh

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Michigan was searching for one last piece of their recruiting puzzle, a wide receiver, and it appears they found one. Des Moines (Iowa) pass catcher Amara Darboh made things official Monday night that he would be joining the Wolverines on Signing Day.

“Michigan it is,” Darboh told the Detroit Free Press.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder took an official visit to witness the historic win over Ohio State several weeks ago. Darboh also held offers from schools such as Michigan State and Nebraska and caught 48 passes for 765 yards and 11 touchdowns in an injury-shortened senior year.

"Amara shows that rare combination of size, speed, concentration, and body control," analyst Tom Lemming said. "He can consistently catch outside of his frame and is able to slip the jam at the line and separate from his defender quickly. Very aggressive to the ball, he's not afraid of contact and shows excellent strength making it very difficult for defenders to bring him down after they've caught up with him."

Darboh is ranked as the 11th-best receiver in the country by Maxpreps and the 139th player overall. The first wide receiver commitment for Michigan, he is the Wolverine's 24th for the class of 2012.

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