- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
Over the summer, a handful of the Big Ten’s most successful programs over the last several years threw their names into the hat for Detroit Cass Tech offensive lineman Dennis Finley, and the four-star prospect rewarded them by putting them near the top of his list.
Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin join Illinois at the top of the 6-foot-6, 275-pound tackle’s leaderboard. Those three all came with offers in succession following the Sound Mind, Sound Body camp in mid-June.
The No. 8 player in Michigan in the 2013 class, Finley has visited Michigan State several times, and his cousin graduated from the school. His sister still attends Michigan State.
“I like their coaching staff, seem like family-oriented and really have a bond with their players,” Finley said. “They’re easy to talk to and are someone you can really talk to.”
Finley, who has a dozen offers, has visited all four of those programs. One of his most recent visits came to Ohio State when he went for a camp, though he did not participate. Finley was able to take a tour of the campus with a few of his teammates and his coach.
“The biggest thing about Ohio State is the campus. I got a tour with one of the coaches,” Finley said. “He gave us an in-depth tour of the whole campus, and I really liked that about Ohio State.”
Like many other offensive line prospects, Finley is most excited about Wisconsin’s lineage of premier linemen when it comes to the Badgers.
“The biggest thing with them is they’re an offensive-line oriented school,” he said. “They send a lot of their O-linemen [to the NFL]. That’s probably the biggest thing I like about Wisconsin.”
The Fighting Illini, which offered back in the spring, have been near the top of Finley’s list for a while and remain there with some of the bigger Big Ten programs.
“They’re about the same with Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin,” Finley said.
With preseason camp at Cass Tech less than a month away, Finley is turning his attention to his senior season and said he is done taking visits until the season starts. He is not sure which programs will receive official visits but wants to make a decision by the middle of his season at the latest.
516dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert