Penn State Nittany Lions: Big Ten lunchtime links
Mario + Easter = Awesome.
- Michigan State's Mark Dantonio wants to see next week's spring game attendance reach at least 50,000, more than double last season's crowd.
- Longtime Penn State linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden feels fortunate to land at Air Force and called his departure from PSU "just a difference of opinion, two different people."
- Urban Meyer recently acknowledged that he knew, once safety Christian Bryant went down with an injury last year, that "there was a chance that we wouldn't be able to go play for a national title."
- Athlon Sports ranks all of the Big Ten's projected starting quarterbacks, from Ohio State's Braxton Miller to Rutgers' Gary Nova.
- Film study wasn't always the favorite activity of Nebraska DB Charles Jackson, but now he considers it a "way of life."
- Hiring defensive line coach Reese Morgan was one of Kirk Ferentz's best decisions, writes Iowa City Press-Citizen's Pat Harty.
- Two of Rutgers' early enrollees, OT Marcus Applefield and CB Kam Lott, are off to a fast start.
- Michigan's AD addressed the silence on the Brendan Gibbons case and more during a sports business panel.
- Maryland and the ACC are in the midst of an "ugly divorce," when it comes to parting ways in favor of the Big Ten.
- The Dowell twins were born minutes apart and, recently, the 2015 recruits both committed to Northwestern just minutes apart.
RIP, Princess Lacey.
- Maryland is planning a broad marketing campaign and several events to mark its transition to the Big Ten on July 1, including introducing a Big Ten-themed ice cream flavor.
- Iowa will boast as many as nine scholarship running backs this season, so Kirk Ferentz mentioned it's possible Mark Weisman might be moved to fullback.
- With just 10 scholarship seniors, this is the youngest team Brady Hoke has fielded at Michigan. But that can no longer be used as an excuse.
- A shoulder injury will keep Wisconsin QB Joel Stave out for the rest of spring practice, but he hopes to be ready in time for summer workouts.
- PennLive's Greg Pickel offered an overview of Penn State's pro day and compared numbers to the NFL combine.
- The Buckeyes are seeking to field a more aggressive secondary that'll be showcased in time for Saturday's spring game.
- Illinois coach Tim Beckman isn't yet sure when he'll name the starting quarterback, so the decision could drag into this summer.
- There's no debate about Michigan State's top quarterback right now, but the competition for No. 2 is wide open.
- Only one firm starter on the offensive line is practicing this spring for Nebraska, but offensive coordinator Tim Beck has been pleased with what he's seen from the fiery group.
- Rutgers DB Bryant Gross-Armiento and QB Blake Rankin both intend to transfer at the end of the semester.
Winter is coming ... but not soon enough.
- Jerry Kill's assistants are getting new deals, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and the contracts are expected to be finalized next week. Both coordinators reportedly agreed to three-year deals.
- Two players raised in SEC country will compete for one of Nebraska's starting cornerback spots.
- Recruiting coordinator Curtis Blackwell played an integral role in finally getting Malik McDowell in a Spartans' uniform.
- In an effort to improve last year's struggling secondary, Ohio State is now having the safeties and cornerbacks meet together -- and has adopted a more aggressive philosophy.
- DE Brad Bars missed last season with a ruptured Achilles tendon, but Penn State's fifth-year senior is expecting to bounce back in a big way.
- Randy Edsall says this is his best Maryland team yet in a Q&A with the Big Ten Network's Tom Dienhart.
- Michigan's running backs have taken big strides this spring, and Brady Hoke has been pleased with their progress.
- Wisconsin's quarterback is a projected No. 1 NFL draft pick ... in the upcoming Kevin Costner movie "Draft Day." The film will use game footage of former signal-caller Tyler Donovan.
- Rutgers TE Nick Arcidiacono is aiming to become a more well-rounded player, and he's hoping for a significant role opposite Tyler Kroft.
- Iowa QB Jake Rudock says he's hoping to improve his decision-making in this Q&A with the Des Moines Register.
Hope your bracket is faring better than mine ...
- Michigan State's defensive success starts with its cornerbacks, and sophomore Darian Hicks is getting the first crack at replacing projected first-round pick Darqueze Dennard.
- In what has become the norm, Indiana is still waiting for one quarterback to emerge as the starter.
- Dontre Wilson has made big strides this offseason and is playing as well as any Ohio State receiver, according to assistant coach Zach Smith.
- Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said joining the Big Ten has opened up some non-traditional recruiting areas for him in this Q&A with the Big Ten Network's Tom Dienhart.
- Iowa might change Damon Bullock's role from running back to slot receiver and, HawkCentral's Pat Harty writes, that new position would better utilize Bullock's talent.
- OL Graham Glasgow remains suspended for Michigan's opener, but he finally has returned to spring practice.
- Maryland coach Randy Edsall said the team is "moving forward" and tailback Wes Brown is performing well following a report that Brown allegedly drove a car involved in a shooting.
- It didn't take much for Minnesota DB Cedric Thompson to convince Jerry Kill that he couldstep up as the team's defensive leader this offseason.
- Wisconsin's defense seemed much more energetic on Thursday, as the largest play it allowed was a 15-yard quarterback scramble.
- StateCollege.com's Mike Poorman takes a look back at six players from Penn State's 2011 recruiting class -- known as the "Supa Six" -- and wonders what has happened to the group.
I haven't had to tear up my bracket just yet, so I got that going for me, which is nice.
- State lawmakers honored Michigan State at the Capitol on Thursday, and Mark Dantonio said such prolonged attention has been different for his staff and team.
- Nebraska DT Maliek Collins reminds his head coach "in a lot of ways" of former Lombardi Award winner Glenn Dorsey.
- Northwestern's athletic director talks both football and basketball in this Q&A, saying aggressive scheduling in football is critical to elevate the program.
- Penn State offensive guard John Urschel continues his draft diary and writes that his mother would prefer he enter a doctoral program instead of aiming for the NFL.
- With the suspension of center Graham Glasgow, Michigan is now turning to three others in hopes to find a replacement for the opener.
- There's a new defensive intensity during Ohio State's spring practices, and if someone takes it easy, co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash has no trouble telling him.
- Two former Rutgers DBs expect the young secondary to make big strides this season.
- Andrew Logue of the Des Moines Register answers five questions about the Hawkeyes and says that Pitt will be the toughest non-conference opponent.
Nice hook, Marty.
- Jim Delany said the Big Ten is not looking to add Friday games, but one of its priorities is scheduling more Saturday night games in November.
- NFL Network analyst Charles Davis shared his thoughts on the Big Ten prospects in this Q&A with the Big Ten Network and said Michigan's Taylor Lewan caught his eye.
- Athlon Sports ranks all of the conference's rosters, based on the last five years of recruiting classes, and points out seven things to learn from them.
- The head of Ohio State's strength and conditioning program showed players videos of Michigan State players clenching roses in their teeth to recharge the team.
- The pay raises of Michigan State's staff are put into perspective, as the Detroit Free Press' Joe Rexrode shows that Mark Dantonio is technically fourth in the conference when it comes to annual salary.
- Michigan offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier didn't delve deep into the new offense he's forming but said he wants to have a multiple running back attack.
- ESPN Junior 300 tailback Andre Robinson surprised himself by committing to Penn State, making him the Nittany Lions' seventh pledge -- and fifth in-state player -- of the 2015 class.
- Wisconsin players received mixed reviews at the NFL combine, with the stock of linebacker Chris Borland falling after a slow 40 time.
- Three Nebraska players will miss spring ball with injuries, including senior offensive guard Mike Moudy.
- 2015 athlete Drew Cook is following in his All-American father's footsteps by committing to the Hawkeyes.
Americans should have the right to bear yogurt anywhere ...
- Big Ten Network's Tom Dienhart ranks all the schools on recruiting appeal, placing Ohio State at the top and Indiana at the bottom.
- The ongoing saga surrounding ESPN 300 DT Malik McDowell is just part of Michigan State's "rise to respectability."
- Only two of Nebraska's assistant coaches received raises, totaling just $25,000, and the Lincoln Journal-Star's Steven M. Sipple believes that's a clear indication of the athletic director's assessment of the staff.
- Penn State's coaching staff will finally take a few days off to move into State College and stop living out of suitcases.
- Ohio State assistant Tom Herman chronicled last week's 19-hour traffic jam in detail and said it turned "pretty scary."
- Kirk Ferentz expects competition at every position this offseason -- and that includes quarterback.
- Shane Morris will compete for Michigan's starting quarterback job, and he talked about his progression since first arriving on campus.
- Illinois' Tim Beckman took a subtle shot at Northwestern while discussing how he signed more Chicago players "than the actual team in Chicago signed."
- Athleticism defines Wisconsin's recruiting class, especially at quarterback, writes Wisconsin State Journal's Tom Oates.
- Recent signee Brandon Lingen, a tight end, gained 60 pounds since his sophomore year of high school and now has the size and talent that Minnnesota is looking for.
National Signing Day is just five days away, so this is now in my head. Don't judge me.
- 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.
What you know about roses, bro?
- Northwestern's Mr. Everything, Kain Colter, is trying to impress scouts at the Senior Bowl. He assumes he'll be a slot receiver in the NFL.
- Here's a closer look at the two Big Ten defensive tackles at the Senior Bowl, Minnesota's Ra'Shede Hageman and Penn State's DaQuan Jones and where they're projected to go in the NFL draft.
- Iowa TE C.J. Fiedorowicz owes a lot to one specific person who helped nurture his NFL potential -- his assistant coach and the brother of former New England TE Aaron Hernandez.
- Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon played football for the Wolverines in the early 1970s, and that experience helped prepare him his current role.
- Vanderbilt's athletic director opened up about James Franklin moving to Penn State and reflected on their relationship.
- A 2015 Michigan State quarterback commit was charged with assault and battery for allegedly body-slamming a security guard at his high school. Video was captured of the incident.
- Four Michigan State walk-ons earned spring scholarships, including two redshirt freshman receivers.
- With Larry Johnson taking over assistant coaching duties at Ohio State, the Buckeyes' defensive line could end up being "real disruptive."
- A columnist for Ohio State's student newspaper says Jim Tressel would be a "perfect fit" for the NFL.
- The mystery surrounding Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez's injury is over: It's a "plantar plate tear," and it means Martinez won't lose his speed.
I need my football fix. Someone should consider resurrecting the XFL ...
- Urban Meyer and James Franklin are building the "SEC North" in the Big Ten, writes Fox Sports' Clay Travis.
- Nebraska tailback Ameer Abdullah decided to stay in school for another season, and that comes as a huge boon to the Huskers.
- Philip Nelson's surprise transfer from Minnesota leaves the door wide open for quarterback Mitch Leidner.
- The son of Ohio State's new defensive line coach, Larry Johnson Sr., discusses the family's move from Penn State and why it was made.
- As part of an ongoing series on Rutgers' transition to the Big Ten, NJ.com's Dan Duggan talked to former coaches about welcoming the Scarlet Knights -- and the New York media market.
- James Franklin isn't right to poach his former Vanderbilt commits ... but he isn't wrong either.
- A way-too-early look at Michigan's depth chart on defense.
- Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard is a physical corner with a chip on his shoulder, and he "should be a good corner in the NFL for a long time."
- Athlon Sports offers early predictions for the 2014 Big Ten season.
- Maryland announced three new additions to its coaching staff, including two-time Pro Bowl wideout Keenan McCardell.
December, 30, 2013
Including last season, the Big Ten is 1-6 in bowl games in 2013. Maybe 2014 will be better?
- Michigan State has come together as a close-knit team. Even a senior quarterback who lost his starting job and a redshirt freshman whose brother is suspended know what they need to do.
- The pre-Rose Bowl tradition of the "Beef Bowl" has mostly given way to moderation, but it wasn't always like that. One Michigan lineman once ate 8 pounds of prime rib.
- Penn State wants to find stability in its next coach but, the Patriot-News' Dave Jones writes, but that's not easy when the university's president and athletic director each have one foot out the door.
- Ohio State defensive end Noah Spence did not travel to the Orange Bowl because of "personal issues," but Urban Meyer said he hoped the Buckeyes' sacks leader might arrive before the game.
- Braxton Miller's decision whether to declare for the NFL draft is likely already made and won't be influenced by the Orange Bowl, writes Cleveland.com's Ari Wasserman.
- After hearing the seniors' take on their head coach, Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez said he feels like he hit a "home run" with the hiring of Gary Andersen.
- Michigan's disappointing end to a disappointing season leaves more questions than answers about 2014. Defensive end Frank Clark didn't point the finger at the staff about the loss and said, "I think a lot of guys just lost the will to play as a family."
- Kirk Ferentz acknowledged there's one wild card standing in front of the Hawkeyes -- LSU's first-time starting quarterback Anthony Jennings.
- Nebraska QB Tommy Armstrong Jr. has taken the good with the bad this season and, if he's able to play a clean bowl game, the Huskers have a good shot at winning.
- Sure, Minnesota lost the Texas Bowl. But there is a silver lining -- the Gophers return a solid nucleus next season.
December, 27, 2013
Let the (B1G) games begin ...
- Bill O'Brien and the Houston Texans have agreed to an interview, according to a report by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Still, O'Brien's potential jump to the NFL is "far from a sure thing."
- Linebacker Max Bullough's surprise absence from the Rose Bowl is sure to impact Michigan State, but no one likely feels worse about the situation than Bullough.
- Ohio State players and coaches agree: There's a little of Woody Hayes in Urban Meyer.
- Jake Rudock has a tough final exam in the form of a bowl game against LSU, but the Iowa quarterback and microbiology/pre-med major possesses smart study habits.
- Shane Morris will start Saturday in place of injured Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner, so the Detroit Free Press' Jeff Seidel takes a closer look at Morris' journey from middle school to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
- Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen is hoping to tap a recruiting pipeline in Florida and, in two to three years, would like to see 20 or more players from the Sunshine State.
- Minnesota would like to win a bowl game for a change, and defensive tackle Ra'Shede Hageman believes having nine wins would be a program changer.
- Bo Pelini was all business as Nebraska arrived at its bowl site and said that "obviously, not everybody made the trip" -- although he wouldn't specify who.
- With Danny Etling, Purdue's future at quarterback is promising (subscription required).
- BTN's Sean Merriman takes a look at the main storyline for every Big Ten bowl game.
December, 20, 2013
One light goes out, they all go out!
- CBS' Jeremy Fowler offered a behind-the-scenes look of the Big Ten's bowl selection, and as one official said, "It's all politics."
- Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers could be close to becoming the next head coach at James Madison, The Columbus Dispatch reports.
- Michigan wideout Jeremy Gallon grew up in a town "surrounded by drug dealers, gangs and all negativity," but he overcame that and ended up becoming the Wolverines' team MVP this season.
- Michigan State's receiving corps received plenty of justified criticism before the season, but they've caught their way to redemption.
- Penn State has placed an increased emphasis on its nutrition program, which has aided greatly in DT DaQuan Jones dropping 25 pounds to increase his stamina and TE Garry Gilliam gaining 40 pounds to move to OT.
- Wisconsin redshirt freshman RB Vonte Jackson is trying to overcome three ACL injuries in a span of 22 months, but he's keeping the faith -- and hopes he'll be ready to contribute in time for spring ball.
- Two weeks off has done wonders for Nebraska after a long and tough season, Bo Pelini said.
- Few expected Minnesota's Drew Wolitarsky and Donovahn Jones to contribute this much this early, but the freshman duo has tapped into its potential pretty early.
- It's difficult to tell just how far off a winning season might be for Illinois, but at least it's well on its way to a winning offseason.
- Which Big Ten bowl features the best chance for an upset or the best quarterback battle? BTN's Tom Dienhart weighs in.
December, 13, 2013
The only thing scarier than Friday the 13th? Knowing there's nearly no football on Saturday the 14th ...
- How did Michigan State manage to find the kind of success not seen since the 1950s or 1960s? Look no further than the coaches.
- More than 31,000 requests were put in for the Spartans' 24,000 allotted Rose Bowl tickets, meaning there will be no public sale, so the secondary market is proving to be an expensive option.
- Maryland will not receive distributed bowl revenue from the ACC because the situation regarding its exit fee hasn't yet been resolved.
- Melvin Gordon could leave early for the NFL ... or he could follow the lead of former Wisconsin RB Ron Dayne.
- The Badgers must open up the competition at quarterback next season, writes the Wisconsin State Journal's Tom Oates.
- Ameer Abdullah injured his ankle in Nebraska's seventh game, but that lingering injury -- and the accompanying pain -- couldn't keep him off the field.
- Michigan TE Jake Butt looked as if he was headed toward a redshirt season but gained 37 pounds since last winter and now believes the "sky's the limit."
- Jerry Kill's battle with epilepsy hasn't kept him from taking Minnesota to new heights.
- Someday, CBS columnist Gregg Doyel writes, Penn State guard John Urschel will do something that makes the world stand up and applaud. But first he's going to play in the NFL.
- Braxton Miller is mulling whether to declare for the NFL draft, and here are five reasons why he should.
Finally, the Big Ten matchup we've been waiting for is nearly here ...
- Michigan State's heartbreaking loss in the 2011 Big Ten title game is now motivation for this season's Rose Bowl.
- Here's a look at five keys to the Big Ten title game in order for Michigan State to prevail.
- Spartans fans are flocking to Indianapolis to watch their team take on the Buckeyes.
- The only way for Ohio State to win Saturday might be to keep its defense off the field, writes the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Bill Livingston.
- The Buckeyes' confidence faces a test, but they've been here before -- and come out on top.
- For the Buckeyes, the path to the national title game is simple: Beat the Spartans, and they're in.
- Linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden's "resignation" from Penn State has to simply be a matter of style, writes the Harrisburg Patriot-News' Dave Jones.
- Despite an up-and-down season, Michigan remains an attractive choice to many bowls.
Penn State 2015 Class Debuts At No. 3
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
TBD California Northwestern TBD Indiana State Indiana TBD Jacksonville State Michigan State TBD Appalachian State Michigan TBD Florida Atlantic Nebraska TBD Youngstown State Illinois TBD Northern Iowa Iowa TBD Ohio State Navy TBD Western Michigan Purdue 8:30 AM ET Penn State UCF 9:00 PM ET LSU Wisconsin