NCF On The Trail: Jake Hartbarger

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As the calendar year winds down, there is still plenty to talk about within recruiting. Big Ten teams have been on a roll on the recruiting trail as of late, and each program is hoping that continues into signing day.

Here are five things for fans to watch as we head into the holiday season.

Under Armour Game

There are six Big Ten teams represented in the Under Armour All-America game this year with Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State all having commitments scheduled to play in the game.

The game will be played Jan. 2 in St. Petersburg, Fla., but there will be plenty to watch before the big game. The participants will go through tough practices and skill competitions leading up to the event, which always has some interesting storylines.

The practices put the best players in the country against each other, so it’s a good measuring stick of top prospects.


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UA Game jersey tour: Jake Hartbarger

November, 16, 2013
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Senior punter Jake Hartbarger (Whitehouse, Ohio/Anthony Wayne High) was presented his honorary game jersey Thursday at his school during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2014 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game. The event was part of a three-month selection tour.

[+] EnlargeJake Hartbarger
Jake Hartbarger - Courtesy of IntersportJake Hartbarger is a three-star prospect committed to Michigan State.
Hartbarger, a Michigan State commitment, is one of 90 players selected to compete in the seventh annual Under Armour All-America Game, a nationally televised game featuring the country’s top high school seniors. The 2014 game is set for 4 p.m. ET Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will be televised on ESPN.

“First of all, I would like to thank Under Armour for my selection,” Hartbarger said. “This is a great honor. Next, I would like to thank my family and friends for all their support. Also Coach [Craig] Smith for everything he has done. … He’s been a great high school coach and is fun to be with, as well as the rest of the coaching staff. Next, I would like to thank my teammates. … I wouldn’t be here without them. Thank you for everything, as well as Kohl’s kicking and everything you have done giving me the opportunity to be here. I look forward to representing Anthony Wayne at the 2014 Under Armour Game.”

Added Hartbarger:

"Being invited to play in the Under Armour All-America Game is a huge honor for me, and it was just a big honor that I couldn't pass up. There are many players they have played in the game that play in the NFL and it's just a great opportunity for me. I am looking forward to getting to hang around with the guys. I think it's going to be really fun getting to see what it is going to be like in college, and then just having a great time in Florida."

The 6-foot-4, 205-pound Hartbarger is a three-star prospect and the No. 4 kicker in the class. He chose Michigan State over offers from Oklahoma, Iowa State and others.

Best Big Ten recruiters 

October, 15, 2013
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Editor's note: For a look at the national recruiter power rankings based only on Class of 2014 success, click here.

Michigan and Ohio State both sit in the top 10 recruiting rankings this year after each landed top 10 classes in 2013 -- the Buckeyes were third, while the Wolverines were sixth.

That's why it should come as no surprise that the two schools have the top four recruiters in the Big Ten Conference for the Class of 2014 so far.

Here's a look at the top 10 recruiters in the Big Ten and why they deserve such high praise:


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The Big Ten doesn’t need an entire schedule of games to make news, and it proved it in the recruiting world.

Here’s a look at what happened off the field in yet another busy weekend of looking toward the future.


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Weekly Commitment Roundup

September, 27, 2013
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AAC
Louisville
Ross Trail | QB-PP | Olive Branch, Miss./Olive Branch
HT: 6-2 WT: 200
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: 3
Class of 2015

ACC
Duke
Shaun Wilson | RB | Charlotte, N.C./West Mecklenburg
HT: 5-9 WT: 170
Positional Rank: #45 RB
Stars: 4

Florida State
Ryan Izzo | TE-Y | Sparta, N.J./Pope John XXIII
HT: 6-6 WT: 215
Positional Rank: #18 TE-Y
Stars: 3

Georgia Tech
Gary Brown | OG | Tampa, Fla./Alonso
HT: 6-1 WT: 284
Positional Rank: #71 OG
Stars: 3

Big 12
Iowa State
Colin Downing | K | Whitefish Bay, Wis./Whitefish Bay
HT: 6-0 WT: 170
Positional Rank: #18 K
Stars: 3

Texas Tech
Keland McElrath | DT | Clarksdale, Miss./Coahoma CC
HT: 6-5 WT: 290
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big Ten
Iowa
Marcel Joly | ATH | Forestville, Md./Forestville
HT: 5-11 WT: 175
Positional Rank: #145 ATH
Stars: 3

Michigan State
Jake Hartbarger | K | Whitehouse, Ohio/Anthony Wayne
HT: 6-3 WT: 171
Positional Rank: #4
Stars: 3

Wisconsin
Lubern Figaro | S | Everett, Mass./Everett
HT: 6-1 WT: 180
Positional Rank: #98 S
Stars: 3

Pac-12
Arizona State
Brendan Landman | TE-Y | Danville, Calif./Monte Vista
HT: 6-5 WT: 220
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Washington State
Sean Krepsz | OT | Riverside, Calif./M.L. King
HT: 6-4 WT: 293
Positional Rank: #84 OT
Stars: 3

Chandler Leniu | OLB | Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco
HT: 6-0 WT: 216
Positional Rank: #113 OLB
Stars: 3

SEC
Georgia
Keyon Brown | DE | Wauchula, Fla./Hardee County
HT: 6-3 WT: 235
Positional Rank: #19 DE
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (#210)

LSU
Blake Ferguson | LS | Buford, Ga./Buford
HT: 6-2 WT: 240
Class of 2015

Dylan Moses | ILB | Baton Rouge, La./University Lab
HT: 6-1 WT: 213
Class of 2017

Missouri
Ishmael Witter | RB | Tampa, Fla./Alonso
HT: 5-8 WT: 184
Positional Rank: #107 RB
Stars: 3

Tennessee
Preston Williams | WR | Lovejoy, Ga./Lovejoy
HT: 6-4 WT: 185
Positional Rank: N/A
Stars: 3
Class of 2015

Mountain West
Hawaii
D.J. Riggins | RB | Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian
HT: 5-11 WT: 170
Positional Rank: #148 RB
Stars: 3

San Jose State
Trevon Benton | OLB | Inglewood, Calif./Inglewood
HT: 6-0 WT: 180

Sun Belt
Texas State
Chris Bradley | DE | Shreveport, La./Evangel Christian
HT: 6-2 WT: 255

From Iowa, Michigan State and Wisconsin grabbing a commit, to Penn State receiving great news on the recruiting front, to Ohio State playing host to some big-time official visitors this weekend, Big Ten storylines were everywhere this week.

Here’s a look at a busy time in this week’s Big Ten storylines:


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