Thursday, August 29, 2013
Big Ten recruiting storylines: Aug. 29
By Brad Bournival and Tom VanHaaren
Big Ten fodder is never hard to find, especially in recruiting. This week is no different as schools start positioning themselves in the recruiting world. Here’s a look at a few programs that highligh a busy week in this week’s Big Ten storylines.
Cornhusker in the making?
Defensive tackle Peyton Newell (Hiawatha, Kan./Hiawatha) is set to announce his decision on Friday. He is down to Kansas, Kansas State, Nebraska and South Carolina, but it’s likely between South Carolina and Nebraska.
The three-star lineman has visited Nebraska multiple times and it’s closer to home, which could play into it.
He will make his announcement at 2:30 pm at his high school gymnasium.
Urban Meyer joined Twitter this week. His first follow? Yep, No. 5.
Urban Meyer created a Twitter account and added quite the buzz this week. In 36 hours, @OSUCoachMeyer has generated 30,000 followers despite the fact he has turned out just four tweets. The account has already been verified and the first person he followed was Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (@BraxtonMiller5). The first 2014 target he followed was ESPN 300 linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County).
Meyer is also following ESPN Junior 300 outside linebacker Justin Hilliard (Cincinnati/St. Xavier), who is taking an unofficial visit to Ohio State this Saturday for the Buffalo game.
One of Ohio State’s star recruiters will be in attendance as outside linebacker pledge Sam Hubbard (Cincinnati/Moeller) plans on taking in the game.
Iowa is already making headway with 2015 center James Daniels (Warren, Ohio/Harding). Daniels holds an offer from the Hawkeyes, but there’s much more to it. The 6-foot-2, 282-pound Daniels has family ties to Iowa as his older brother LeShun is a freshman running back for the Hawkeyes. Their father, Leshun Sr., played for Ohio State and had a brief stint in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings. James does not have an offer from the Buckeyes.
Is Nicholson next?
Things could be trending toward Penn State in regards to ESPN 300 athlete Montae Nicholson (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway). The numbers crunch for Michigan caught up to the Wolverines as they had no room for the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Nicholson. He has said he wants to trim his list. Don’t be surprised if Penn State wins out in the end.
Neal a name to watch
Junior quarterback Riley Neal (Yorktown, Ind./Yorktown) is starting to see his recruitment expand beyond his home state.
Neal camped at Michigan and has been hearing from the Wolverines. He was invited to the Notre Dame game on Sept. 7, but he was also invited to see Miami’s game on the same day.
The 6-foot-5, 201-pound signal-caller could see his name pop up more and more with a good start to his season.
Offensive tackle could have choices
2015 offensive lineman Kyonta Stallworth (St. Clair Shores, Mich./South Lake) had a great visit with Michigan State recently.
While he's close to pulling the trigger on the Spartans' offer, he also has seen interest in him pick up. The prospect has offers from Florida, UCLA and most recently Tennessee.
The 184th-ranked prospect in the ESPN Junior 300 will likely see his offer list grow, which raises the question if he will strongly consider these schools going forward. He will be in attendance at Michigan State’s game against Western Michigan this weekend, so the Spartans will get a chance to sell the program once again.
Along with Stallworth and his 2016 teammate Martell Pettaway, there will be some big names in attendance at Michigan State's opening game.
One of the bigger names is 2015 target Brian Cole (Saginaw, Mich./Heritage). The 147th-ranked player in the ESPN Junior 300 has offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Tennessee and will be a big target of all those schools.
Berrien Springs (Mich.) teammates Nick Padla and Johnathan Williams will also be visiting for the game as well as 2016 prospect Donnie Corley (Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt).
Recruits are eagerly thinking about which college football games they will be attending this year, and a few 2015 offensive linemen already have their plans thought out.
Sterling Jenkins (Pittsburgh/Baldwin) is No. 75 in the ESPN Junior 300 and is slated to see some big games this season. Jenkins says he will take in Pitt vs. Florida State, Ohio State vs. Penn State, Penn State vs. Michigan and Michigan vs. Ohio State games.
Pitt, FSU, Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan are the programs that are sticking out to the 6-foot-8, 290-pound lineman as well.
Fellow ESPN Junior 300 offensive lineman Matt Burrell (Fredericksburg, Va./Chancellor) has thought about a few games he would like to take in as well.
The 124th-ranked prospect says he would like to see Florida, Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Burrell is already planning on heading up to Ann Arbor to watch Michigan and Notre Dame play in the second ever night game at Michigan Stadium.
It might excite Michigan fans to know that Burrell is good friends with 2014 Michigan target Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) and 2015 defensive tackle Tim Settle (Manassas, Va./Stonewall Jackson). Settle is No. 7 overall in the ESPN Junior 300 and will likely be attending the Michigan game with Hand and Burrell.
Winning in Wisconsin
Wisconsin had quite the week. Defensive end Jacob Tuioti-Mariner (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), who will take an official visit Oct. 11, has the Badgers in his top three. Frank Ragnow, a 2015 three-star offensive tackle, also will take an unofficial visit this weekend for the Massachusetts game. If that wasn’t enough, cornerback DeMarlon Morris (Mesa, Ariz./Mesa C.C.) scheduled his official visit for Oct. 11.