Ohio State Buckeyes: Jay'ru Campbell

Big Ten lunch links

February, 12, 2014
Feb 12
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The Big Ten blog also secretly interviewed for the Browns job.
Here is a look at some of the top performances from Big Ten targets and commits for the week.

Illinois:
Mike Dudek: Dudek helped Neuqua Valley (Naperville, Ill.) beat O’Fallon 38-7 with three touchdown catches on the night.

Julian Hylton: The three-star running back had 159 yards on 30 carries with four touchdowns in his game. He helped lead Lincoln-Way North (Frankfort, Ill.) to a 41-6 win over Thornton Fractional South.

Indiana
Coray Keel: The Indiana commit and Snellville (Ga.) South Gwinnett wide receiver registered five catches for 108 yards and scored a 70-yard touchdown in a 30-28 win over Snellville Brookwood.


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Some colleges like to fill their classes early, while some wait until the end to add superstars.

While high schools aren’t about recruiting kids to their programs, the art of getting one of their stars to commit is as much a plan as is the team’s playbook.

Some, like Cleveland Glenville’s Ted Ginn Sr., want their kids to wait until the bitter end. Others like Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints Episcopal coach Aaron Beck, prefer things to be done early.

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Hjalte FroholdtBrad Bournival/ESPNHjalte Froholdt, the No. 14 player in the ESPN Junior 300, will be playing his junior season in his native Denmark but will have plenty of suitors waiting for his return to the United States.
There are currently 34 Midwest prospects -- 15 from Ohio -- within the ESPN Junior 300. Not a single one of them has pledged an allegiance to a school as of yet.

That means the dogfight is already on, as Big Ten schools and others around the country prepare for an 18-month battle for some of the best.

As is usually the case, the Midwest will bring some interesting storylines over the next few years as the focus will shift to the heartland for some of the biggest names at the high school level.

In keeping with Tuesday’s theme, here are the top 11 prospects out of the Midwest and where they’re at in the process.


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Big Ten recruiting mailbag

August, 9, 2013
8/09/13
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It’s time to dip into the Big Ten recruiting mailbag and answer some of your questions. We’ll try to give everyone a chance to get their questions answered. We encourage you to send your questions by Twitter to @bbournival or @TomVH. Feel free to email us as well at brad.bournival.espn@gmail.com or TomVHESPN@gmail.com.

@BeerTheDeer: What are Wisconsin’s chances with Joe Mixon and Damien Mama? If the Badgers can pull them both, does that do anything to raise Wisconsin’s recruiting pull?

Brad Bournival: Absolutely. You have to consider that seniors only get five official visits, so the Badgers are already way ahead of the game when it comes to landing the duo. Wisconsin’s offensive line legacy and strong education isn’t lost on Mama. The Badgers’ ability to turn running backs into stars isn’t lost on Mixon either. As far as what it would do to help Wisconsin in the recruiting scene, history shows that teams on a roll stay on a roll, especially on a year-to-year basis. Once a team gets hot with top recruits, others start taking a look.

@McArthurMatt: Will Michigan State start putting the pinch on Michigan’s Detroit Cass Tech pipeline with the commitment of Jayru Campbell?

Tom VanHaaren: It depends on what you mean by pinch. Campbell didn’t have a Michigan offer, so I don’t know if you can consider that in your question. I think Michigan will still land players from Cass Tech, but Michigan State hiring Curtis Blackwell will certainly make for more competition.

Blackwell was involved with a lot of prospects in Detroit, so his relationship with the prospects and their families is a big bonus. I do think Michigan State has a shot with Cass Tech defensive end Joshua Alabi, who does have an offer from the Wolverines.

If Michigan State lands Alabi, then this is an argument that can be talked about. That would be a big win for the Spartans if they were to land him, but that’s yet to be seen.

Michigan State will be a player for a lot of the local prospects now, but I don’t think it will have a huge impact overall on Michigan’s recruiting efforts.

@roberthendricks: What do you think about Damian Prince? Where is he headed?

Bournival: The three teams that look to be separating themselves are Florida State, Maryland and Ohio State, but I think this is a two-team battle between the Terrapins and Buckeyes. Maryland might be selling the in-state angle, but it’s more than that as the Terrapins wouldn’t mind having him be the face of the program. With 13 offensive linemen under scholarship next season and four starters leaving after this season, the Buckeyes can sell playing time and depth chart to the ESPN 300 offensive tackle. In the end, I think Prince stays home and becomes a part of Maryland’s 2014 class.

@Paul_Zinn24: Overall, how is the Big Ten stacking up in recruiting to other major conferences?

VanHaaren: Not great. Michigan and Ohio State are holding the fort down with the No. 6 and 12 ranked classes, respectively and Penn State (20) and Northwestern (24) are in the top 25.

Outside of those four teams it doesn’t look good. The Big Ten has 25 commitments in the ESPN 300 and 20 of those come from Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Northwestern. If you don’t feel like doing the math, that means that the other eight teams have five ESPN 300 commitments combined.

The SEC has 77 ESPN 300 commits and the ACC has 35, so the Big Ten is behind significantly.

With that being said, there is still plenty of time left and there are a lot of ESPN 300 prospects that could pick Big Ten schools. Northwestern, Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State are all in on some top targets, so that number could still go up.

@dcarey71: Is it true because of early enrollments that Penn State will be allowed to offer 17 scholarships instead of 15 this year?

Bournival: That is correct with a couple of stipulations. The Nittany Lions need to stay at 15 scholarships a year, but it can also count early enrollees toward the class before it. So, since there’s some wiggle room in the 2013 class, Penn State can sign 17 prospects in the 2014 class -- as long as two enroll early. Those numbers would meet the NCAA requirements under the sanctions, including the 65-maximum scholarship stipulation as well.

Incidentally, quarterback Michael O’Connor and defensive tackle Antoine White have both stated they want to enroll in January.

Big Ten lunch links

August, 8, 2013
8/08/13
12:00
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Happy happiness happens day.

Big Ten recruiting storylines: Aug. 8 

August, 8, 2013
8/08/13
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Big Ten fodder is never hard to find, especially in recruiting. Here’s a look at a few programs that highlighted a busy week in this week in Big Ten recruiting:

Another Wangler on campus


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Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series detailing some of the big visitors scheduled to be at The Horseshoe next Friday.

Ohio State’s Friday Night Lights sits a week away.

As was the case last year, there are some monster names headed to the event in hopes of catching the eye of Urban Meyer and maybe grabbing an offer.

Last year, Tim Gardner committed after the camp.

A list of scheduled visitors can be found here. As always, the names are subject to change and often do at the last minute.

Here’s a first look at three of the biggest names scheduled to attend:


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Since 2008, Detroit Cass Tech High School has sent 10 of its football players to the University of Michigan. Wolverines fans think of the Technicians as locks to Michigan and a pipeline school.

That probably isn’t for naught, as Cass has produced a lot of athletes that end up choosing Michigan. Head coach Thomas Wilcher is a former Wolverine himself, so that only adds to the fans’ sense.

Adding to that, in the same period of time Ohio State has signed exactly zero prospects from the Detroit school. So when 2014 Cass Tech defensive back Damon Webb came along, naturally Michigan fans were excited.


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Some very strong names have been on Ohio State’s campus over the past week -- Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County) and Demarre Kitt (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) most notably.

Kitt is on campus until Sunday, but he’ll have plenty of company. To be blunt, Buckeyes fans won’t be able to trip and fall without landing on an ESPN Watch List recruit or big-time target on Saturday.


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The annual adidas Invitational is set to take place on Sunday, March 24, at Grand Valley State University, and as usual some of the top Midwest and national prospects will be on hand.

The camp, put on by Maximum Exposure, already has more than 40 prospects with offers on its roster and ready to compete. The event will put the athletes through individual events and one-on-one drills in the indoor facilities at Grand Valley.

As usual, Cass Tech High School will be represented well with 2014 prospects Damon Webb, Gary Hosey and William White. The underclassmen also will be on display for the Technicians, with 2015 quarterback Jayru Campbell, Joshua Alabi and running back Mike Weber on the roster.

The 2015 class might have a shot to steal the show at the event, with big names including wide receivers Brian Cole (Saginaw, Mich./Heritage) and Ray Buford (Southfield, Mich./Southfield), defensive end Jashon Cornell (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham) and defensive backs Tymeon Ollison (Akron, Ohio/Buchtel) and Tyriq Thompson (Detroit/King).

Thompson is the son of former Michigan standout Clarence Thompson and by all accounts could be a great player in his own right. Thompson will be joined by his teammates, 2014 linebacker Carl Fuller and defensive back Avonte Maddox, as well.

Defensive end Lawrence Marshall (Southfield, Mich./Southfield) has nothing really to prove with offers from Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss and Tennessee, among others, but he will be in attendance nonetheless.
It’s going to be one heck of a busy month for Ohio State as unofficial visitors pour into Columbus, Ohio, for a look at the Buckeyes.

We’ve already talked about many of the big names set to visit the Horseshoe, but the visitors keep coming.


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Who says schools are supposed to rest during the quiet period?


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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- It looks like Ohio State isn’t done with Detroit Cass Tech High School.

With ESPN Watch List Damon Webb already in the fold in the Class of 2014, the Buckeyes will welcome in a big quarterback out of the Class of 2015.


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Five stories to watch: New Level 7-on-7 

March, 15, 2013
3/15/13
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The latest stop on the New Level Nation 7-on-7 tour is Youngstown on Saturday, as some of the top teams and prospects from the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic head to northeast Ohio. The organization’s 7-on-7 tournaments are steadily growing every year and are now one of the premier competitions in the country, but the 7-on-7 at Youngstown State will unfortunately be missing some of the Midwest’s best -- through no fault of its own.


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