- Illinois OL Corey Lewis knew something wasn't right with his left knee and, as it turns out, he might have played the entire season without an ACL.
- Taylor Martinez is serious about pursuing his NFL dreams and, if quarterback doesn't work out, the former Nebraska QB isn't opposed to trying wide receiver.
- Michigan's student newspaper labeled the university's response to the Brendan Gibbons' incident as "shameful."
- Former Ohio State OL Nick Mangold recently took part in a video where Kate Upton took snaps from him.
- Michigan State has two or three spots left in its 2014 recruiting class, and it's still heavily pursuing about a half-dozen prospects.
- PennLive's Bob Flounders tackles the differences between Bill O'Brien and James Franklin as a recruiter.
- Rutgers' recruiting class was the third-best in the Big Ten back in August but, after a dozen decommitments, it's now 11th -- and signing day can't come soon enough.
- Jerry Kill is optimistic about his recruiting class and says he doesn't put much stock in how many stars appear next to a recruit's name.
The Ultimate ESPN 300 recruiter power rankings is a look at which assistant coaches have done the best on the recruiting trail from 2006 through 2013. Beyond looking at how many four- or five-star recruits were landed in that period, the rankings take into account how well those players performed once they arrived on campus.
Current head coaches weren't considered, which eliminates many great recruiters. Producing the list was a challenge, as compelling cases can be made for a number of other coaches.
1. Lance ThompsonCurrent school: Linebackers coach, Alabama
2006-2013 positions: Defensive coordinator, UCF (2004-2006); linebackers coach, Alabama (2007-2008); linebackers coach, Tennessee (2009-2011)
Top recruit 2006-2013: Julio Jones
What he's done: Looking for a way to describe Thompson's success on the trail? Just ask one of the best players he landed. "He is the best recruiter ever," A.J. McCarron said in 2008 after picking Alabama. The job Thompson did with the 2008 class helped set the table for Alabama's national title runs, and it included household names like Jones, Mark Barron, Robert Lester and McCarron. In 2009, he signed D.J. Fluker and Trent Richardson, both first-round NFL draft picks. While at Tennessee, he was able to land all-SEC selections Christian Harris and Ja'Waun James, before returning to Alabama to land highly touted recruits Jonathan Allen, Robert Foster and Da'Shawn Hand in the 2013 and 2014 classes.
Oruwariye took a visit to Happy Valley this past weekend and decided Penn State was his new home. The three-star corner became the sixth prospect to flip from the Commodores to the Nittany Lions.
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To the highlights:
SK from NJ: Rutgers fan here, wondering what we should expect from Philip Nelson?
Adam Ritenberg: He's a guy who came to Minnesota with a lot of attention, showed some decent mobility at times this season but wasn't accurate enough. He didn't have a great receiving corps by any means, but his accuracy numbers down the stretch were a bit troubling. I'm interested to see how he develops under new Rutgers OC Ralph Friedgen.
Marty from The Tundra: Hey Adam! I was just curious what your takes are on which school has the overall coaching advantage? Dantonio and staff at MSU? Urban Meyer's staff at OSU or even Franklin's at Penn State or something else?
Adam Rittenberg: Meyer is still the only Big Ten coach who has won a national title (two, in fact), so I give him the nod over Dantonio, who has certainly made up ground. Ohio State's overall staff gets an edge against MSU's, although the Spartans have the best assistant of the bunch in Pat Narduzzi. Franklin and his staff are excellent recruiters, but they need to show they can win against the best Big Ten teams before I put them in the Meyer/Dantonio category. Vanderbilt made historic strides under Franklin but beat up on the bottom of the SEC.
Adam Rittenberg: He had an opportunity at Connecticut that wasn't very good, in my opinion, and chose to remain at MSU. He interviewed for the Louisville job, but Petrino always was the target there. He had a good shot at Cincinnati last year before Tuberville suddenly became available. So it's a matter of time, in my view. Pat is brutally honest and maybe not as polished as some head coaches, but he has matured in recent years and seems ready to lead a program. I'd be surprised if he's still coordinating MSU's defense in two years.
Armond from Toledo: Why is everyone excited about OSU's 2 defensive coaching staff hires? It seems like people are excited like we just hired the Seahawks' DC. Michigan's OC hire was something to be excited about. These two guys have me skeptical.
Adam Rittenberg: Expand on that thought, Armond. Why does Nussmeier excite you more than Johnson and Ash? Because he came from Alabama? A lot of coordinators could have success with Alabama's personnel. Larry Johnson has been an exceptional defensive line coach for more than a decade. Chris Ash is a rising star who specializes in defensive back play, where Ohio State struggled so much a year ago. Nussmeier is a good hire, too, but I don't understand your concern about Johnson and Ash.
Jim from Chicago: If the B1G ten doesn't end up with an undefeated team, chances they have a representative in the play off next year?
Adam Rittenberg: Jim, we addressed this a bit earlier. It all depends on what happens elsewhere, but I don't see too many 1-loss Big Ten teams making the playoff. Michigan State certainly could. Perhaps Ohio State or Wisconsin another team that racks up some impressive wins despite one setback. It would need to be a close loss, ideally early in the season, for a Big Ten team to overcome and still reach the playoff.
Thanks again for the questions. Let's do it again soon.
- Former Michigan kicker Brendan Gibbons is apparently not facing charges for the incident that seems to have led to his expulsion from the school.
- The Wolverines have seen some of their recruiting momentum slip away. Could Michigan State capitalize on that given its strong finish on the field last season?
- Ohio State has found itself a new president, and he was a popular guy with at least one coach during his stint at UC-Irvine.
- The Buckeyes are keeping their current athletic director around for a while, and Doug Lesmerises takes a look at the contract extension signed by Gene Smith.
- Former Minnesota quarterback Phillip Nelson has picked his next school, and he'll be staying in the Big Ten as he heads to Rutgers.
- Should likely defensive coordinator Joe Rossi be judged for the performance of the Scarlet Knights in the bowl game against Notre Dame?
- Iowa has fired an athletic department employee over missing funds from ticket sales on the Hawkeye Express.
- Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst has been on the job for a year, and he's crammed plenty into that relatively short timeframe.
- Penn State's new passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach knows better players can make for better coaches, and Ricky Rahne is set to work with another talented signal caller in Christian Hackenberg.
- A Madison-based company landed Russell Wilson for his first solo Super Bowl commercial, and it struck gold when the former Wisconsin quarterback actually led Seattle to the NFL championship game.
The Big Ten chat takes place today at noon ET. I'll be there. Will you?
Moving Day For Maryland And Rutgers
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
7:00 PM ET Eastern Illinois Minnesota 10:00 PM ET Rutgers Washington State
8:30 AM ET Penn State UCF 12:00 PM ET Youngstown State Illinois 12:00 PM ET Indiana State Indiana 12:00 PM ET Northern Iowa Iowa 12:00 PM ET Appalachian State Michigan 12:00 PM ET Ohio State Navy 12:00 PM ET Western Michigan Purdue 3:30 PM ET James Madison Maryland 3:30 PM ET Florida Atlantic Nebraska 3:30 PM ET California Northwestern 9:00 PM ET Wisconsin LSU