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Big Ten recruits shine in Big 33 Football Classic

6/22/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

With the real games more than two months away, Big Ten fans turned their lonely eyes to Hershey, Pa., on Saturday night to get a glimpse of several incoming recruits in the annual Big 33 Football Classic. The Ohio All-Stars ended up beating their counterparts from Pennsylvania 38-31, snapping a three-game slide, but the event featured strong performances from both sides. 

Big Ten prospects played instrumental roles in the game's outcome: 

  • Penn State recruit Curtis Drake earned MVP honors for the Pennsylvania side after rushing for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. Drake tied the game at 31-31 on a 1-yard quarterback sneak and completed 8 of 16 pass attempts for 166 yards. He's expected to play slot receiver at Penn State but could fill the Derrick Williams-type slash role in the backfield.

  • Iowa recruit Micah Hyde accounted for the game's biggest play, a 99-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter after Drake fumbled on the Ohio 1-yard line and Ohio State recruit Adam Bellamy recovered. It marked the longest touchdown in game history, and Hyde finished with five receptions for 138 yards.

  • Indiana recruit Adam Replogle scored the game-winning touchdown on a 1-yard dive with 20 seconds remaining. Replogle, projected to be a defensive lineman with the Hoosiers, was surprised the coaches called his number.  

  • The Ohio squad featured seven Ohio State recruits, including offensive lineman Marcus Hall and defensive ends Jonathan Newsome and Melvin Fellows. Newsome's play drew good reviews, while Hall had a bit of a slow start in the game. Some Buckeyes fans are  wondering what might have been after watching quarterback Austin Boucher win MVP honors for the Ohio team. Ohio State made a late push for Boucher in recruiting after losing Tajh Boyd to Clemson, but Boucher stuck with his commitment to Miami (Ohio). Boucher completed 18 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns in the Big 33 game.

  • Michigan recruit Fitzgerald Toussaint had a 54-yard touchdown reception and a 6-yard touchdown run for the Ohio squad. 

  • Drake hooked up with tight end and future Penn State teammate Garry Gilliam for a 31-yard gain that set up the tying touchdown.