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Big Ten recruiting storylines: Aug. 8

8/8/2013

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

When 2014 linebacker Jared Wangler (Warren, Mich./De La Salle) was offered by Michigan it struck a chord. His father played quarterback for the Wolverines, his older brother and sister are both currently at Michigan and now he has the opportunity to do the same.

The predicament is that the Under Armour All-American linebacker is currently committed to Penn State. However, Wangler has decided to visit Ann Arbor on Thursday with his dad to see the Michigan program for himself.

He still considers himself a Penn State commit and has talked to the Nittany Lions' staff about the visit, but also acknowledges that this is a special opportunity. He likely won't drag out any decisions and very well could end up in a winged helmet in the near future.

Dixon ready to take the next step

ESPN 300 wide receiver Johnnie Dixon (Palm Beach, Fla./Dwyer) told anybody listening at The Opening that Ohio State was a player for his services. The 5-foot-11, 197-pound Dixon has set up an official visit to Columbus. The fourth-ranked wide receiver in the nation and 42nd-ranked player overall will visit The Horseshoe the weekend of Sept. 28 when the Buckeyes play Wisconsin. He’ll also check out Alabama for the LSU game on Nov. 10.

ESPN 300 Linebacker Sets Visit

Outside linebacker Brandon Lee (Indianapolis/Lawrence Central) scheduled his first official visit on Wednesday. He will be visiting Cal on Aug. 31 when the Golden Bears take on Northwestern. That visit is significant because both teams are in Lee’s top five along with Virginia Tech, Oregon and Louisville.

Lee is the No. 242 ranked prospect in the 2014 class, so he would be an outstanding addition to any of the five programs. The fact he is visiting Cal for the Northwestern game is also important, because it likely means he will get a chance to see the Wildcats in person twice. Northwestern has an excellent opportunity if they can pull off a win in Berkeley.

Michigan State has a big day

The Spartans had a ton of visitors on campus for Wednesday’s practice and the coaching staff reeled in a 2015 prospect. Quarterback Jayru Campbell (Detroit/Cass Tech) pledged to Michigan State while visiting.

That’s an excellent start to the 2015 class, but it could be just the beginning for the Spartans with local prospects. Campbell’s teammates, running back Mike Weber and defensive lineman Joshua Alabi, were also in attendance for the big event.

A pair of in-state offensive lineman also made the trip over to East Lansing with 2015 Anthony Herbert (Lapeer, Mich./East Lapeer) and David Moorman (Northville, Mich./Northville).

Spartans commit David Beedle (Clarkston, Mich./Clarkston) brought his 2015 teammate, tight end Cole Chewins, to visit as well.

It was a step in the right direction for coach Mark Dantonio and his staff as it gave the Spartans an opportunity to wow some of the younger local prospects.

Illinois hosting underclassmen

Not to be outdone by Michigan State, Illinois is hosting a good list of underclassmen this week.

On Wednesday, the Illini brought in 2016 running back Kentrail Moran (O’Fallon, Ill./O’Fallon) to take in practice. Moran enjoyed the visit and it gave the in-state team a chance to make an impression early, since there is plenty of time left in his recruitment.

The Illinois coaches will also host offensive lineman Nick Padla (Berrien Springs, Mich./Berrien Springs), wide receiver Miles Boykin (New Lenox, Ill./Providence Catholic) and athlete David Edwards (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove) this week.

Linebacker U giving a new look?

Penn State has long been known for its legacy at linebacker. Could quarterback be next? With the signing of Christian Hackenberg (Fork Union, Va./Fork Union Military Academy), the top-ranked pocket passer in 2013, and the pledge of Michael O’Connor (Bradenton, Fla./IMG Academy), the fourth-ranked pocket passer in 2014, things look that way.

Add the fact that fast-rising 2015 quarterback Brett Brumbaugh (McDonald, Pa./South Fayette) took a visit this week and came away impressed and it’s looking more and more like Happy Valley is becoming a destination for signal callers.

“Having Coach [Bill] O’Brien there along with Coach [Charlie] Fisher, those two together, they bring a sense of success if you go there as a quarterback,” Brumbaugh said. “They put you in situations where you’ll have that success. They prepare you very, very well to go out there on Saturday and make plays and come out with wins. If you’re good enough in their system, it should change over to the pros.”