Michigan Wolverines: Cincinnati Bearcats


Just a few days after stubbing its toe on the field, the Big Ten conference will try to right the ship in the recruiting world.

Larry Scott
Brad Bournival/ESPNESPN Junior 300 running back Larry Scott will make an unofficial visit to the Horseshoe this weekend.
From official visits to commitments, here’s a look at a few programs that highlight a busy time in this week’s Big Ten storylines.

Buckeye leafs

The fact Ohio State opened as 57-point favorites against Florida A&M didn’t scare off some big unofficial visitors, as ESPN Junior 300 running back Larry Scott -- L.J. for short -- out of Hubbard (Ohio) High School will lead a group of three big names with unofficial visits to the Horseshoe.

Most colleges are not completely sure which position Eric Glover-Williams will play at the next level, but they plan to use him the same way his Canton (Ohio) McKinley coaches will in 2013. Glover-Williams will have the ball in his hands early and often.


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No matter the camp, combine or 7-on-7 tournament, one name always among those mentioned when talking about which prospects impressed most is Drue Tranquill (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll). For several months, however, it never led to a single scholarship offer.

That began changing this June, and now Tranquill has 11 offers including four from BCS schools. His biggest offers could be just on the horizon, though.


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video Editor’s note: Finding the Future is a RecruitingNation feature that will appear throughout camps and combine season, ranking prospects strictly on their on-field performance at the particular event. It does not reflect where each will land when the class is ranked by ESPN.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Nike Football Training Camp was loaded with top upperclassmen on Sunday, but a handful of 2015 prospects showed they could compete with some of the top competition from the Midwest.

1. OT Sterling Jenkins
6-foot-8, 295 pounds | OT | Pittsburgh Baldwin

Considering: Offers from Arizona, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Toledo, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and West Virginia

What we learned: With some of the top committed and uncommitted defensive linemen in the Midwest flocking to the NFTC, Jenkins certainly didn’t back down as he more than held his own against top-ranked talent.

“What I like about Sterling is he has the reach, the length of an elite tackle,” said former Florida State and NFL offensive guard Montrae Holland. “He’s young right now and has to get a better understanding of angles, but the overall tools are there. He has the raw material to be very good.”


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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- If you were to ask Ohio State cornerback commit Cam Burrows (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) or Michigan linebacker commit Mike McCray (Trotwood, Ohio/Trotwood-Madison) to name the talented prospects at their high school, it might be smart to find a seat.


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Urban Meyer has done it yet again.

With a stockpile of defensive linemen already in the fold, the Ohio State coach dipped into the class of 2014 and offered a 12th defensive end in the class. It’s also the 16th defensive lineman he’s offered out of the junior class.


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#BlueChipBattles: Nov. 30

November, 30, 2012
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Carl Lawson, Dee Liner, Reuben FosterESPN.comCarl Lawson, Dee Linerand Reuben Foster are still committed to Auburn, but the Tigers' coaching situation could change things for the three ESPN 150 recruits.

Auburn bid farewell to head coach Gene Chizik on Sunday. Could the Tigers also be saying goodbye to a trio of ESPN 150 recruits who could take their talents elsewhere?

Each week, RecruitingNation summons its writers from around the country to compile a list of the top 10 battles for elite football recruits leading up to February's signing day.

Here are this week's top battles Insider, and you can take a shot at ranking the top 10 recruiting battles on SportsNation.
This weekend will be big for ESPN Watch List safety Darius West (Lima, Ohio/Lima Central Catholic). It is not a regional final like he hoped, but Saturday he will get a better feel for where he stands with one program he considered to be in his top two this summer.

Michigan was West’s favorite along with Ohio State when both were heavily interested this summer, but as contact with the Wolverines staff has tapered off so has West’s feelings for the program.

He will get a better understanding as to how the coaches view him Saturday when he visits Ann Arbor when the Wolverines host Iowa.

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For junior defensive end Mike Barwick (Cincinnati/Summit Country Day), it was his third visit to Michigan, so he did not hesitate to leave at halftime as the rain came down.

Still, it was another good trip to Michigan for Barwick -- even if it was a short one.

“It was great,” he said. “Before the game I had a chance to talk to Coach [Mark] Smith and Coach [Jerry] Montgomery. That was great.

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Watch List junior Nathaniel Devers (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) has his favorites, but he’s not ready to make a decision.

[+] EnlargeNathaniel Devers
Chantel Jennings/ESPN.comNathaniel Devers' top three are Alabama, Michigan and Northwestern.
The 6-foot-3, 265-pound Devers wanted to make that clear before continuing, but that didn’t mean the offensive guard wasn’t ready to discuss his top three following a 34-14 win over Austintown Fitch last week.

Schools such as Alabama, Cincinnati, Kent State, Michigan, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Wisconsin have shown interest, while Toledo has offered.

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Eight offers are already in for ESPN Watch List defensive tackle Enoch Smith (Chicago/Mount Carmel), but that number will not remain at eight very long.

Enoch Smith
Chantel Jennings/ESPN.com2014 Watch List defensive tackle Enoch Smith already has eight offers.
The 6-foot-2, 256-pound lineman said several big-time BCS programs are at least showing early interest. Among them, Smith named Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Stanford, USC and Virginia Tech.

As for who could be his next offer, Smith said he would guess Georgia Tech, Michigan, Michigan State or Ohio State would be offer No. 9.

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Wide receiver Dionte Taylor (Davie, Fla./University School) was proud to help represent the state of Florida in Sunday's 33-14 victory over Trotwood (Ohio) Madison.

Now Taylor, a 6-foot, 170-pound senior, says the expectations for University School have been raised even higher.

"It was a lot of fun to play on national television and know that so many people were watching us," Taylor said. "I think we were the only team in Florida to play outside the state last weekend, so it was good to represent.

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Midwest week 1 top performers 

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It was a busy weekend covering games, and after close to 900 miles of travel, two states and six football games, it is time to reflect on what I saw.

I made it to Massillon (Ohio) Washington vs. Akron (Ohio) Buchtel on Thursday; Cleveland Heights vs. Toledo St. John’s on Friday; Detroit Martin Luther King vs. Southfield (Mich.) and Detroit Cass Tech vs. Brother Rice (Bloomfield, Mich.) on Thursday; and ended it with University School (Fla.) vs. Trotwood-Madison (Ohio) and Cincinnati Moeller vs. Baltimore Gilman on Sunday.

I tried to pick one top performer from each team, but it would have been unfair to do that for some of thee teams and players. But here is who impressed me the most this past weekend:

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The Trotwood-Madison (Ohio) roster is headlined by two ESPN 150 seniors, but the Rams’ 2014 class is a strong one, too. And star running back Ashton Jackson is one of Trotwood-Madison’s best players -- regardless of class.

The 5-foot-10, 182-pound junior had a breakout sophomore season, and he said he only got better this offseason.

“Catching the ball, I just had to work on focus because that’s the key,” Jackson said, “and my footwork, I practiced doing speed drills.”

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Joe Henderson (Shaker Heights, Ohio/Shaker Heights) could soon find himself in the middle of one of college football’s most storied rivalries.

The defensive end/outside linebacker participated at Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights camp to start his weekend off, and the 6-foot-3, 200-pound junior capped it with a visit to Michigan for its BBQ at the Big House on Sunday.

Michigan has offered Henderson while the Buckeyes have not.

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