NCF On The Trail: Ula Tolutau

Here are the top performances by Big Ten commits and targets from the weekend.

B1G high school performers 

October, 14, 2013
10/14/13
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Here are this week's top performances from Big Ten commits and targets:

Illinois

Mike Dudek: Seven receptions, 97 yards, one touchdown, 103 kick return yards and a touchdown in a 40-25 win over Waubonise Valley.

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B1G high school performers 

October, 7, 2013
10/07/13
12:00
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Here are this week's top performances from Big Ten commits and targets:

Illinois:
Julian Hylton: Hylton led Lincoln-Way North (Ill.) with 34 carries, 153 yards and two touchdowns in a 22-21 win over Lincoln-Way Central.


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B1G high school performers 

September, 9, 2013
9/09/13
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Big Ten commits and targets were all over the field making plays this weekend for their teams. Here is a look at some of the top high school performances from Big Ten prospects.

Illinois
Mike Dudek: The Neuqua Valley (Ill.) receiver had 12 receptions for 244 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 49 yards and a touchdown touchdown in a 58-35 loss to Naperville Central.

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It was a big weekend for Big Ten recruiting. Tom VanHaaren and Brad Bournival recap the most important happenings around the conference:

Biggest commitment

Tom VanHaaren: Offensive lineman Nick Padla pledged to Michigan State over the weekend. That was a big deal for a few reasons, one of which was obvious on the field. Michigan State’s offense has struggled and the coaching staff needs help along the offensive line. Padla is the third offensive line commit in this class, so adding depth was key. Padla also has a 2014 teammate, defensive end Jhonny Williams, who has been hearing from Michigan State recently. If the coaches decide to offer Williams, then Padla’s commitment could help landing his teammate as well.

Brad Bournival: Wisconsin’s drought without a commitment ended two months to the day when defensive end Rohan Blackwood (Brooksville, Fla./Nature Coast Technical) gave his pledge to the Badgers after taking an official visit to Madison over the weekend. The three-star senior hinted that he could commit soon when he tweeted he might have found a new home prior to leaving for Florida. It became reality late Sunday evening when he made it official. Blackwood becomes the 12th commitment of the 2014 class for Wisconsin and proves the Badgers are serious about bolstering the defensive line as tackles Craig Evans (Sun Prairie, Wis./Sun Prairie), Billy Hirschfield (Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead) and Conor Sheehy (Milwaukee/Marquette University) preceded Blackwood with commitments in the 2014 class.

Biggest offer

VanHaaren: Ole Miss offered 2015 wide receiver Miles Boykin (New Lenox, Ill./Providence Catholic) over the weekend. The rising prospect also holds offers from Illinois, Michigan State, Toledo and Western Michigan. At 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, Boykin is sure to see his offer list continue to grow.

Bournival: Ohio State is hitting the recruiting trail hard and making sure it isn’t missing the quarterback position in 2015. The Buckeyes offered yet another signal-caller. This one coming in is Kai Locksley (Baltimore/Gilman), who is listed as a wide receiver by ESPN. Locksley also picked up an offer from the Badgers.

ESPN Junior 300 stars Lorenzo Nunez (Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison), De’Andre Johnson (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast), Kyler Murray (Allen, Texas/Allen) and Torrance Gibson (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./American Heritage) also have offers from the Buckeyes.

Wisconsin already has a commitment at quarterback in 2015 from dual-threat and ESPN Junior 300 standout Austin Kafentzis (Sandy, Utah/Jordan).

Boykin's offer is big because both Illinois and Michigan State are in need of receivers, even if he is a 2015 prospect. Ole Miss has done well with Illinois prospects recently, including No. 1 receiver Laquon Treadwell in 2013. It will be important for Big Ten schools to keep him home and out of the SEC.

Biggest performance

VanHaaren: I should just leave Michigan 2015 running back commit Damien Harris’ (Bethea, Ky./Madison Southern) name here because he keeps tearing it up on the field. Harris carried the ball 31 times and ran for 315 yards with three touchdowns. He has 802 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns after three games.

Bournival: Wisconsin pledge Ula Tolutau put himself in some rare air when the Salt Lake City East running back rushed for 338 yards on 16 carries and scored four touchdowns in a 59-36 win over Sandy (Utah) Jordan. According to his coach, Brandon Matich, it’s the sixth-best performance in Utah history. Not to be terribly outdone, Purdue commit Drue Tranquill (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) is usually known for his defense, but he rushed for 200 yards and five touchdowns on eight carries in a 70-15 win over Ossian (Ind.) Norwell.

Most important visit

VanHaaren: There were plenty of big visitors at other programs, including Josh Kalu (Houston/Alief) at Nebraska, Montae Nicholson (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway) at Michigan State and a few others.

However, only three programs will get the chance to host No. 4 ranked Da’Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) and Michigan had that chance this past weekend. The atmosphere was electric and there probably wouldn’t have been a better weekend to have Hand on campus. I believe it will be very difficult to beat Michigan.

Here are a few pictures from prospects that took a visit to Ann Arbor:

Bournival: Was Noah Brown’s trip to Ohio State enough for the Buckeyes? The four-star athlete out of Sparta (N.J.) Pope John XXIII took an official visit to Columbus over the weekend and seemed to enjoy himself. He talked about how exciting the Buckeyes’ skull session was before the game and tweeted about having dinner with Urban Meyer, adding that he was having a great time on his visit. With Rutgers as the perceived favorite and the Buckeyes coming on strong in the end, Ohio State did all it could to land Brown, who said he plans to make his decision this week.

Biggest question

VanHaaren: How well will Northwestern finish the season and what impact could that have on recruiting? The Wildcats are off to an impressive start to the season, beating Cal and Syracuse by a combined 35 points. Western Michigan and Maine are next up, and then Northwestern faces Ohio State in Evanston. If the Wildcats and Buckeyes are undefeated heading into that game, there will be a ton of implications on the line.

Bournival: Was Danny Clark (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) serious about what he said regarding the Buckeyes? The freshman phenom quarterback said if Ohio State offers, his recruiting process is over. His father, Jeff Clark, says it’s true. The Buckeyes are very high on the 6-foot-3, 205-pound prospect out of Massillon, who made his first career start last week in a 23-20 triple-overtime win over Canton GlenOak.

Biggest answer

Bournival: That comes today when running back Qadree Ollison (Buffalo, N.Y./Canisius) makes his announcement at 3:15 p.m. The three-star Ollison wanted to take a visit to Penn State over the weekend, but scheduling conflicts kept him from Happy Valley. Ollison, who is down to Pittsburgh and the Nittany Lions, did get a visit from wide receivers coach Stan Hixon at his game Friday. Penn State is believed to be the favorite, although Pitt hosted him on an official visit in Week 1. Ollison rushed for a school-record 1,876 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior.

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Weekly commitment roundup

May, 17, 2013
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ACC
Duke
Zach Harmon OG Toledo, Ohio/Central Catholic
HT: 6-foot-4 WT: 275 pounds
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Kerrion Moore RB Gastonia, N.C./Hunter Huss
HT: 5-8 WT: 180
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Chris Taylor WR Coconut Creek, Fla./North Broward Prep
HT: 6-0 WT: 168
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Miami
Brad Kaaya QB-PP West Hill, Calif./Chaminade College Prep
HT: 6-4 WT: 213
Position Rank: #12 QB-PP
Stars: 4

NC State
Coult Culler OLB Wilmington, N.C./E.A. Laney
HT: 6-4 WT: 225
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Jalan McClendon QB-PP Charlotte, N.C./West Mecklenburg
HT: 6-4 WT: 195
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big 12
Baylor
Jordan Feuerbacher TE-Y Kingwood, Texas/Kingwood Park
HT: 6-4 WT: 240
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Xavier Jones DE Magnolia, Texas/Magnolia West
HT: 6-3 WT: 200
Position Rank: #32 DE
Stars: 3

Iowa State
Sam Seonbuchner OLB Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead
HT: 6-2 WT: 223
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Kansas
Kyron Watson OLB East Saint Louis, Ill./East Saint Louis
HT: 6-1 WT: 210
Position Rank: #4 OLB
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#100)

Oklahoma
Marcus Green CB Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill
HT: 6-1 WT: 176
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big East
Louisville
Isaiah Ford WR Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian Academy
HT: 6-1 WT: 161
Position Rank: #34 WR
Stars: 4

George Rushing WR Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons
HT: 6-0 WT: 182
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Rutgers
Justin Herron OG Potomac, Md./Bullis School
HT: 6-4 WT: 275
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big Ten
Michigan State
Chris Frey Jr. OLB Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington
HT: 6-2 WT: 214
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Matt Sokol ATH Rochester Hills, Mich./Adams
HT: 6-5 WT: 225
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Northwestern
Blake Hance TE-Y Jacksonville, Ill./Jacksonville
HT: 6-6 WT: 260
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Justin Jackson RB Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North
HT: 5-11 WT: 175
Position Rank: #32 RB
Stars: 4

Ohio State
Lonnie Johnson WR Gary, Ind./West Side
HT: 6-2 WT: 180
Position Rank: #41 WR
Stars: 4

Penn State
Marcus Allen S Upper Marlboro, Md./Dr. Henry A. Wise Jr.
HT: 6-2 WT: 190
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Jared Wangler OLB Warren, Mich./De La Salle Collegiate
HT: 6-2 WT: 218
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Wisconsin
Billy Hirschfeld DE Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead
HT: 6-6 WT: 267
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Ula Tolutau ATH Salt Lake City, Utah/East
HT: 6-1 WT: 225
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Pac-12
UCLA
Dionte Sykes WR Chandler, Ariz./Chandler
HT: 6-2 WT: 205
Position Rank: #49 WR
Stars: 3

Utah
Raelon Singleton WR Crosby, Texas/Crosby
HT: 6-4 WT: 185
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Washington
Chase Blakely DE Coeur D'Alene, Idaho/Coeur D'Alene
HT: 6-4 WT: 221
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Washington State
Greg Hoyd OLB Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta
HT: 6-1 WT: 191
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

SEC
Auburn
Derrick Moncrief S Prattville, Ala./Mississippi Gulf Coast CC
HT: 6-3 WT: 226
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Justin Thornton DE Prichard, Ala./Vigor
HT: 6-5 WT: 225
Position Rank: #13 DE
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#111)

Kentucky
Drew Barker QB-PP Hebron, Ky./Conner Senior
HT: 6-4 WT: 205
Position Rank: #7 QB-PP
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (#141)

Kobie Walker S Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel
HT: 6-3 WT: 188
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

LSU
D'haquille Williams WR Laplace, La./Mississippi Gulf Coast CC
HT: 6-3 WT: 210
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Missouri
Michael Fairchild OT Overland Park, Kan./Blue Valley West
HT: 6-6 WT: 270
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Finis Stribling IV CB Thompson's Station, Tenn./Independence
HT: 5-11 WT: 167
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Mississippi State
Dontavian Lee RB Brooklyn, Miss./Forest County Agriculture
HT: 6-0 WT: 205
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Vanderbilt
Montez Sweat TE-Y Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson
HT: 6-6 WT: 225
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Badgers' Andersen reaches back into Utah

May, 17, 2013
5/17/13
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First-year Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen, previously in charge of Utah State's program, snared a commitment Thursday from his old recruiting grounds. According to multiple sources, Ula Tolutau (Salt Lake City/East) picked the Badgers.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Andersen first began pursuing Tolutau when he was still at Utah State. Tolutau is the first Utah prospect to be lured to the Big Ten by the former Aggies coach.

Tolutau, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound high school running back, is classified as an athlete and could land at another position in Madison, Wis. His primary recruiter was Wisconsin defensive line coach Chad Kauha'aha'a.

Brigham Young, Hawaii, Utah and Utah State also extended scholarship offers. Oregon State and Stanford, among others, expressed interest.

The Badgers have six pledges for 2014.

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