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Thursday, August 22, 2013
Big Ten recruiting storylines: Aug. 22

By Brad Bournival & Tom VanHaaren



Big Ten fodder is never hard to find, especially in recruiting. Here’s a look at a few programs that highlighted a busy recruiting week:

Cotton getting close

Linebacker Micquell Cotton (O’Fallon, Ill./O’Fallon) has narrowed his list down to Indiana and Iowa State. The three-star back holds offers from both schools as well as Syracuse and Michigan State.

Cotton has visited both already and will take official visits this fall before making a pick.
The Cyclones have some appeal with a solid 2014 class that includes ESPN 300 wide receiver Allen Lazard (Urbandale, Iowa/Urbandale), running back Tommy Mister (Chicago/St. Rita) and a few other good looking commitments.

We’ll see where things stand after he takes his trips.

Iowa adds cornerback

Cornerback Josh Jackson (Corinth, Texas/Lake Dallas) committed to Iowa on Thursday. He confirmed his commitment in a text message.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior becomes Iowa's 13th commit and the unranked defensive back becomes the third player to be taken in the secondary in the Hawkeyes’ 2014 recruiting class. He joins cornerback Omar Truitt (Washington, D.C./St. John’s College) and safety Jyaz Jones (Dallas/South Oak). Jackson’s commitment continues the youth movement at Iowa, as six underclassmen will return next season from Iowa’s two-deep chart.

"I think it's going to be great," Jackson said. "With the guys coming in, we'll definitely make a big impact in the Big Ten and for the team."

Defensive end Torey Hendrick (Brooklyn, N.Y./ASA College) hasn’t broken down his top five yet, but the junior college sensation already knows one he’ll take a visit to Iowa.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Hendrick hasn’t set a date, but Iowa City be a destination. Expect Kansas to maybe earn a visit as well.

Hendrick currently has offers from Arizona State, Florida State, Kansas State, North Carolina State and Rutgers to go with Iowa and Kansas.

Lacrosse commit getting looks
Jason Alessi (Birmingham, Mich./Brother Rice) is committed to Michigan for lacrosse, but that might not be the sport he ends up playing in college as he is starting to get noticed for football as well.

Alessi is a 2014 defensive back who already holds football offers from Cornell and Air Force. He has heard from Yale, Harvard and most recently Michigan State.

The 6-foot, 170-pound safety took a visit to East Lansing last week and is now waiting for the Spartans to make a move. The coaching staff told him they want to watch film on his first few games this coming season and then make a decision.

If he has a good start to the season the Spartans might not be the only team to come calling.

Linebacker U looking again
Penn State has opened up its search to replace outside linebacker Jared Wangler (Warren, Mich./De La Salle), who decommitted from the Nittany Lions before pledging to Michigan.

With Syracuse commit Jason Cabinda (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central) already in the mix of candidates, Penn State has offered outside backer Brandon Lee (Indianapolis/Lawrence Central). That means Northwestern has some company in landing the standout as Lee will travel to California on an official visit when the Golden Bears play the Wildcats on Aug. 31. Lee currently has a top five of Cal, Louisville, Northwestern, Oregon and Virginia Tech.

London a wanted man
Running backs with size, speed and strength will always be a hot commodity, which is why three-star back Madre London (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) is in such hot demand.

London says he has a top group of Michigan State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Illinois and Mississippi State. He will visit Michigan State on Oct. 12, Nebraska on Sept. 6 and Wisconsin on Sept. 20.

He looks to be a top target for all of these schools and at 6-foot-2, 202 pounds, it’s easy to see why. London says he plans on taking a few visits before deciding, but acknowledges that a decision could come at any time.

Michigan’s big weekend
Michigan’s 2015 class has already gotten off to a fast start with four commitments, including ESPN Junior 300 prospects George Campbell (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake) and Damien Harris (Berea, Ky./Madison Southern). Campbell is the No. 3 ranked prospect overall and Harris is No. 20.

The Wolverines have an opportunity to continue the hot streak this weekend as defensive back Shaun Crawford (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Edward) is set to announce his decision on Friday on ESPN.com.

Crawford, the No. 49-ranked player in the ESPN Junior 300, has Michigan among his favorites so this would be another big addition for the Wolverines.

The weekend won’t be over after that, though, as 2015 defensive back Tyree Kinnel (Huber Heights, Ohio/Wayne) is visiting on Saturday. Kinnel has also been vocal about his interest in Michigan and that he grew up a fan of the Wolverines.

This weekend could help shore up a good amount of the 2015 class. Much like the 2014 class, numbers will be limited to around 15 scholarships total.

Speed solutions?
Ohio State has a wonderful dilemma. With seven players that run sub 4.5 40-yard dash times on offense, there’s a whole lot of speed and not enough positions. When athlete Curtis Samuel (Brooklyn, N.Y./Erasmus) committed to the Buckeyes last week it gave Ohio State four slot receivers -- Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/Desoto), Jalin Marshall (Middletown, Ohio/Middletown), Terry McLaurin (Indianapolis/Cathedral) and Samuel -- taken in the last two classes.

With McLaurin’s size -- he’s 6-foot and 184 pounds -- the Indianapolis star can be moved to the outside if the Buckeyes choose to put more speed on the outside.

Unofficially official
Wisconsin might only have 11 commits in its class, but it certainly is lining up official visits.

Right now, ESPN 300 running back Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) and guard Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) headline the list with official visits set for the weekend of Oct. 11. They’ll be joined by cornerback John Plattenburg (Houston/Lamar), safety Andre Godfrey (Hollywood, Fla./Miramar) and commit D.J. Gillins (Jacksonville, Fla./Jean Ribault). Four-star cornerback Jalen Brown (Phoenix/Mountain Pointe) will take an official visit Sept. 20 and will be joined by safety Lubern Figaro (Everett, Mass./Everett), defensive end Uriah Dillon-Leiataua (Compton, Calif./Dominguez) and London.

On Sept. 6, the quartet of defensive tackle Jeremy Patterson (Jesup, Ga./Wayne County), wide receiver Krenwick Sanders (Jesup, Ga./Wayne County), defensive end Rohan Blackwood (Brooksville, Fla./Nature Coast Technical) and running back Qadree Ollison (Buffalo, N.Y./Canisius) will be in town. On August 31, tight end Ryan Izzo (Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII) has plans to take an official visit to Madison as well.

Izzo is down to Florida State, Rutgers, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin and will visit all four schools.