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Friday, February 5, 2010
Big Ten Friday mailblog

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Also Adam from Hershey, Pa., writes: Adam, could you do me a favor or provide some comments on the situation with Seantrel Henderson possibly being on the open market again and what chance, if any, OSU might have at signing him later on like they did with Pryor?

Adam Rittenberg: First of all, great name. Henderson is waiting to see what happens with USC and the NCAA investigation before signing with the Trojans. He has until April 1 to sign, and the situation at USC may or may not be resolved by then. He said Ohio State finished second to USC in his recruitment, so the Buckeyes obviously would be in the mix if things don't work out with the Trojans. Then again, his father didn't sound too excited about Jim Tressel or the Buckeyes in this New York Times story. Let's see what happens with USC, because there's still a decent chance he signs there.


Jason from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, writes: Hey AdamJust a quick note. I notice this line being repeated over and over for Iowa and recruiting. "Arguably no staff in the Big Ten gets more out of less than Iowa's coaches, so fans clamoring for five-star recruits should simply consult the history books."I am a huge Iowa fan, but I have to disagree. The past 6 years in recruiting (Including the 2010 class) Iowa has (20) 4 star recruits and (1) 5 star recruit.Wisconsin has (16) 4 star recruits and (1) 5 star recruit per Rivals.com.The win totals of the past 5 years are Iowa with 39 wins and Wisconsin 48 wins.I would say without a doubt. Wisconsin does the best with less talent. Thoughts?

Adam Rittenberg: Well, the word "arguably" means it's not a definitive statement, but you can apply this belief to both Iowa and Wisconsin. In fact, those are the two staffs who consistently get the most out of their talent in the Big Ten. Wisconsin probably has a bit more in-state talent to work with, and both staffs recruit the Chicago area very hard. The Badgers have more wins during the last five years, though Iowa had the BCS bowl win last year. It's pretty close between those two programs, but both coaching staffs develop players very well.


Leroy from Detroit writes: Yeah .... Those number one recruiting classes surely haven't helped the SEC with their 4 cons National Championships ...huh ?

Adam Rittenberg: Leroy, my point wasn't to discredit the recruiting process, but certain programs that rarely win conference titles or BCS bowls always seem to get a ton of attention in early February but don't translate it onto the field. Florida and Alabama win national titles because of great coaching, above all. The recruiting helps, but Urban Meyer and Nick Saban have more to do with it. Big Ten teams like Iowa and Wisconsin never get any attention on signing day, but they consistently get it done during the season, when things really matter.


Ryan from West Lafayette writes: Adam, you have to agree that this has been an embarrassing day for the Big Ten. Only 2 teams recruiting classes ranked in the top 25, a good handful of the Midwest's top prospects leaving the region, the top 4 players in Ohio not going to the buckeyes, the list goes on and on. I know the league's coaching staffs do a good job of developing, but the fact of the matter is that every national championship team has signed elite talent. The Big Ten can't even keep the few good prospects home. What are your thoughts?

Adam Rittenberg: It wasn't a great signing fay for the Big Ten, Ryan, but just because the league didn't make a ton of noise on Wednesday doesn't give me major cause for concern. Ohio State's 2011 class should be better than its 2010 group. Penn State did a great job, and Michigan closed well with Demar Dorsey. The Big Ten hates to lose players like Jordan Hicks and Seantrel Henderson, but most of the talent ended up staying in the Midwest. I'll be more concerned if the Big Ten has another good bowl season after the 2010 season and once again struggles on signing day.


Billy from Compton, Calif., writes: Do you think a coach like urban myer would be questioned about signing a player like Demar Dorsey who has had a troubled past, or only a coach like Rich Rod, who is always questioned, would?

Adam Rittenberg: Florida has faced questions about the number of its players with recent arrests, but all that typically gets brushed aside by winning. The same goes for Michigan. If the Wolverines win the Big Ten this year, the focus will be shifted elsewhere. It always works that way. People can talk about Michigan's character issues and Rodriguez being a bad fit, etc. But as soon as he starts winning, the noise will die down.