- Tom VanHaaren, ESPN Staff Writer
The Big Ten has seen plenty of action recently with commits, decommitments and offers being sent out. Here is a look at the latest story lines within the conference.
MOVING ON FROM HAND
Michigan missed out on five-star defensive end Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) on Thursday. Hand told the coaches Wednesday night, which gave them time to consider an offer to fill his spot.
The staff then promptly offered in-state prospect Jhonny Williams (Berrien Springs, Mich./Berrien Springs), who is currently committed to Missouri. Williams has now said he will visit Notre Dame, who also recently offered, and will most likely take a trip to Ann Arbor as well.
This could be interesting, as Williams only lives 30 minutes from South Bend and his father is a Michigan fan.
The Wolverines also offered three-star Cal running back commit Vic Enwere (Sugar Land, Texas/Fort Bend Austin), who has said he will likely take a visit as well.
Quarterback Tyler Wiegers (Beverly Hills, Mich./Country Day) decommitted from Rutgers this week, something that’s starting to be a trend with its class.
The four-star quarterback is now considering Iowa, and could take a visit to see the Hawkeyes this weekend. If Wiegers does make the trip, a decision could come shortly after.
If he picks Iowa, Wiegers would be the second four-star commit for the Hawkeyes.
TRANQUILL FLIPS FOR IRISH
Linebacker Drue Tranquill (Ft. Wayne, Ind./Carroll) had been mulling a Notre Dame offer for quite some time, despite being committed to Purdue.
In a text message sent on Monday night, Tranquill made the decision to flip his commitment to Notre Dame.
“I’ve decided to play my next four years at the University of Notre Dame,” the text message said. “I have so much respect for Coach (Darrell) Hazell. I’ve never met someone with such high character. However, I’m ecstatic to go play for Coach (Brian) Kelly at the University of Notre Dame.”
RECRUITING OUT FRONT FOR WESTPHAL
Now that his season is over, ESPN 300 defensive back Parrker Westphal (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook) is once again focused on his recruitment.
After much deliberation, the No. 96-ranked prospect is down to Michigan State, Northwestern and Vanderbilt.
He will be taking an unofficial visit to Northwestern on Saturday for its game against Michigan State and will then return again for an official visit in the first week of December.
That’s a huge opportunity for the Wildcats to seal the deal on one of the top remaining targets in this class.
SYKES SET TO RELEASE TOP LIST
Four-star linebacker Nile Sykes (Lombard, Ill./Montini Catholic) has been receiving major interest as of late. His most recent offer comes from Notre Dame, which has sparked interest.
Sykes has been focusing on his season, but tweeted this week that he will release a top-five list next week. He is a major target for Illinois and he also holds a Purdue offer.
With the loss of Tranquill, the Boilermakers could really use some help at linebacker.
The Minnesota coaching staff has seen a spark in interest from prospects they have been in contact with in recent weeks. Winning typically cures all, and that’s the case with the Golden Gophers right now.
In-state target Frank Ragnow (Victoria, Minn./Chanhassen) says that Minnesota’s play on the field has definitely been something he’s taken into consideration.
“It’s huge, because I came into this fall, the one thing that Minnesota was lacking was winning,” Ragnow said. “I would’ve ruled them out if they weren’t winning. They always talked about winning and actually seeing it happen is huge.”
The Gophers are facing off against Wisconsin this weekend and will have running back target J'Vonte Herrod (Kennesaw, Ga./North Cobb) on campus for the game.
Herrod isn’t quite sure when he will make a decision just yet, but the Gophers are likely his current leader.
Dareian Watkins (Galion, Ohio/Galion) and Northwestern split ways on Wednesday. The four-star commit had recently taken a visit to Wisconsin and it now looks as though the Badgers could benefit from this split.
Watkins played a lot of quarterback for his high school team, but he will most likely play elsewhere in college. He could play wide receiver or defensive back, and probably has more upside at those two spots than quarterback.
Penn State already has two linebackers committed in this class, but it looks like the coaching staff is still searching for some help.
ESPN’s Pac-12 recruiting coordinator, Erik McKinney, reports that the Nittany Lions have expressed interest in juco linebacker James Adams-Hurd (Burbank, Calif./Pierce College).
If his transcripts check out, an offer could be on its way for Adams-Hurd, and if he receives one the Nittany Lions would be tough to beat.
Ohio State recently offered Michigan defensive back commit Shaun Crawford (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Edward). Urban Meyer extended the offer himself on Wednesday night. Crawford says he is committed to Michigan, but is focusing on his season for now.
Juco offensive lineman Chad Mavety (Garden City, N.Y./Nassau Community College) is visiting Ohio State this weekend, as are ESPN Junior 300 prospects Sterling Jenkins (Pittsburgh/Baldwin) and Jerome Baker (Cleveland, Ohio/Benedictine).
ESPN Jr. 300 wide receiver Irvin Charles (Haddonfield, N.J./Paul VI) is visiting Penn State this weekend.
Offensive lineman Chukwuma Okorafor (Southfield, Mich./Southfield) has started to pick up serious interest, and a few big offers. There is a chance that he continues to pick up more interest from some other Big Ten schools. Ohio State recently got in contact with the three-star lineman, but no offer was extended.
486dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert