January 24, 2007

Big Ten Blitz: Looking for talent outside the box

It's geography week in Big Ten recruiting. Wisconsin dipped into Ohio to land a three-star cornerback, Indiana received a commitment from a player in Georgia and Iowa is getting a midweek visit from a Texas wide receiver.


Michigan has proven in the past it can recruit nationally, but now the Wolverines are going international. A Canadian defensive tackle from Montreal chose Michigan over Illinois.


Read about these topics and more in this week's edition of the Big Ten Blitz.





Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Michigan | Michigan State | Minnesota

Northwestern | Ohio State | Penn State | Purdue | Wisconsin


































Illinois






Commit List

Orange&BlueNews.com

Message Board


Many people were surprised to see that Chicago Hubbard running back Robert Hughes committed to Notre Dame over Illinois. The 5-foot-11, 226-pound Rivals100 rusher had been torn between the two schools and didn't make the final call until earlier on Tuesday. Both programs made late pushes for the four-star back. In the end, the opportunity to play at Notre Dame was too much for Hughes to pass up. That doesn't take away from an already great Illinois class. Ron Zook has firmly re-established the Illini in the Chicago Public League, and that's something that's not about to change any time soon - even without Hughes' commitment.
Indiana






Commit List

Peegs.com

Message Board


Defensive end Fred Jones from Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek is the newest member of Terry Hoeppner's incoming recruiting class. Jones made his commitment earlier this week. "I thought about the business school, and this is a group of coaches that I can really work with," said Jones. "I really am looking forward to my four years there. I am really excited to be in the Big Ten." Jones said his decision came down to a choice between Indiana and Marshall. He visited Indiana on Jan. 12 and then went to Marshall last weekend. Jones, who is 6-foot-4 and 222 pounds, is ranked as a two-star prospect.

Iowa






Commit List

HawkeyeReport.com

Message Board


Cedar Hill, Texas, wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe is in Iowa City, Iowa, today for a midweek official visit to the University of Iowa. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound three-star was excited about the trip. "I had a visit scheduled to Missouri on Friday that I actually just cancelled, but Iowa had already sent my plane tickets, so I'm going to visit them midweek instead of this weekend anyway," he said. Last week, Briscoe received an in-home visit from the Iowa coaching staff. Making the trip was lead recruiter Ron Aiken, along with wide receivers coach Lester Erb - who brought some tape on the 2006 Alamo Bowl. "They showed me their game against Texas and broke down some of the receiver packages for me," Briscoe said. "It was really interesting."
Michigan






Commit List

TheWolverine.com

Message Board


Montreal (Que.) Vieux School defensive tackle Renaldo Sagesse made a commitment to Illinois shortly after Christmas, but this past weekend he was in Ann Arbor for an official visit with Michigan. The 6-4, 305-pound prospect has had trouble in the past getting his academic status cleared with a few American universities. Some aspects of his Canadian curriculum have not cleared admissions, but that wasn't a problem at Michigan. "Everything is good," said Sagesse. "I talked with the coaches about my academic situation and they said it is going to be all right. Everything will be set at their place, so there will be no problems." Earlier this month, Sagesse had firmed up his verbal commitment to Illinois after a talk with head coach Ron Zook, but this past weekend's visit to Michigan has shaken up the process.
Michigan State






Commit List

SpartanMag.com

Message Board


It's down to two for junior college All-American linebacker Anthony Fein. A four-star player according to Rivals.com, Fein has narrowed his list to Michigan State and Mississippi. He said he's close to making a final decision. Fein, who visited Michigan State in September for the Spartans' night game against Notre Dame, was scheduled to visit Ole Miss the first weekend of February. But the nation's No. 2 junior college linebacker has now pushed that visit date up to this weekend. "It's down to those two," said Fein. "I would say it's about 50-50 between the two schools. I want to go down to Ole Miss and check it out and check out the SEC."

Minnesota






Commit List

GopherIllustrated.com

Message Board


Maple Grove, Minn., offensive lineman Ryan Wynn was one of the original commitments to the previous staff at Minnesota. Late last week he had his first chance to meet with Tim Brewster. There was little question about Wynn honoring his commitment to Minnesota, but it is fair to say that after meeting his future coaches that any doubt about that is now gone. "I was happy with my decision before to go to Minnesota, but after meeting the new staff I am even more excited than I was when I originally committed," he said. "They are a younger staff and are so full of energy for the job, I loved every coach I met. It is going to be so exciting to be a part of Minnesota football with Coach Brewster and his staff."
Northwestern






Commit List

WildcatReport.com

Message Board


Everything is still up in the air for Baton Rouge (La.) Catholic running back Jeremy Stewart. The Wildcats are one of the final three teams for Stewart. He's torn between Central Florida, Northwestern and Stanford. He just recently returned from a visit to UCF and liked what he saw. While Stewart mulls over his options, he's still keeping in contact with coaches from each of the schools pursuing him. One of those coaches is Eric Washington, his recruiter at Northwestern. "I've been talking to Coach Washington a lot," he said. "He's a really good coach. I like talking to him."
Ohio State






Commit List

BuckeyeGrove.com

Message Board


Piqua, Ohio, running back Brandon Saine is without question one of the gems of the Buckeyes' recruiting class of 2007. Saine, who was named "Mr. Football" in the state of Ohio this year, should make his presence known quickly once he gets to Ohio State. The 6-foot, 200-pound Saine rushed for 1900 yards and scored 30 times in leading Piqua to a 13-2 record and the Division II state championship. Coach Bill Nees, who has coached some very good ones at Piqua - including Quinn Pitcock - can't say enough about Saine. "The thing about him is all the intangibles," Nees said. "If you get to coach or play with him you are privy to that kind of thing."
Penn State






Commit List

BlueWhiteIllustrated.com

Message Board


Massillon (Ohio) Washington four-star linebacker Andrew Dailey has been a longtime Penn State commitment. He took a trip back to Happy Valley recently on an official visit. "It was a good time," said Dailey. "We went to the basketball game and had a good time. Everyone was yelling, 'Dailey, glad you're coming!' and all that type of stuff. We got fed like a king." Dailey got to hang out with outside linebacker and Bednarik Award winner Dan Connor and was hosted by one of Connor's best friends. "I got to spend a lot of time with Dan Connor and my host was Matt Hahn, the fullback," said Dailey. "He's good friends with Connor. I spent a lot of time with him and the other recruits."


Purdue






Commit List

Gold&BlackIllustrated.com

Message Board


Carrollton (Texas) American Heritage Academy head coach Bob Giesey said last week he expected his 6-foot-2, 233-pound fullback Jared Crank to make a decision for Purdue during his official visit to West Lafayette this past weekend. The commitment did not come on that trip, but it was obvious Crank was very high on the Boilermakers. Sunday night, following his visit to Purdue, Crank said he expected to make a commitment when assistant Joel Thomas came to his home Monday. The big fullback followed through on those plans. "Joel Thomas came by, and I committed today," Crank said. "It was pretty exciting. I'm pumped up about it. We talked for a little while and he asked me if I had come to a decision. I told him I thought Purdue was the place for me."
Wisconsin






Commit List

BadgerBlitz.com

Message Board


The Badgers tapped into the deep Cleveland Glenville talent pipeline to land its latest commitment. Three-star cornerback Otis Merrill is heading to Madison. "I committed this weekend to Wisconsin," Merrill said. He chose the Badgers one week after visiting the Michigan State Spartans, who led for his services heading into the weekend. But according to Merrill, the Spartans lost ground on his trip to Madison. "I say it was Saturday after I got a chance to be around the players and I had already seen the facilities," Merrill said. "I just felt comfortable around the team and the coaches and the players, and it had the perfect facilities."



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