Thursday, February 5, 2009
Big Ten lunch links: Signing day leftovers
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Lots to link after national signing day, so we'll go in alphabetical order.
- Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State top the Chicago Tribune's Big Ten recruiting rankings.
- It was a mixed bag for Illinois on signing day, as the Illini lost Kraig Appleton to Wisconsin, retained Terry Hawthorne and added Justin Green, Terry Bannon writes in the Chicago Tribune.
- Indiana piled up in-state recruits in a class that isn't highly rated but should fill several needs, Terry Hutchens writes in The Indianapolis Star.
- Iowa also won't win any recruiting awards this year, but head coach Kirk Ferentz doesn't mind flying under the radar, Marc Morehouse writes in The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Ferentz also talked about the Kansas City Chiefs, the new FieldTurf at Kinnick Stadium and Ed Podolak, Andy Hamilton writes in the Iowa City Press-Citizen.
- Rich Rodriguez deserves credit for not letting Michigan's on-field struggles hurt the program's momentum in recruiting, Mark Snyder writes in the Detroit Free Press.
"Rodriguez proved once again that challenges only fuel him. There were those at West Virginia who said he couldn't win with two- and three-star recruits. Opposing recruiters said the 3-9 record would be his death, that it would run him out of Ann Arbor, leaving his offense there and a new coach who didn't care. Through it all, the opportunity for playing time and the vision Rodriguez presented to players and parents, resonated. Others said at Michigan he couldn't recruit and keep the warm-weather players he loved, yet this class features eight from Florida and a few from Arizona."
- Running back Edwin Baker stiff-arms injury concerns and expects to compete right away at Michigan State, Eric Lacy writes in The Detroit News. Spartans head coach Mark Dantonio and his hoops counterpart Tom Izzo tag-teamed to draw Dion Sims to campus, Andrew Mouranie writes in the Lansing State Journal.
- The late addition of cornerback Michael Carter enhanced a Minnesota recruiting class heavy on in-state products, Kent Youngblood writes in the Star Tribune.
- Once again, a recruit named Patrick from Chicago's south suburbs has energized the Northwestern football program, Jim O'Donnell writes in the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Ohio State always recruits top skill players, but the team has missed the mark in recruiting offensive linemen, Rob Oller writes in The Columbus Dispatch. Head coach Jim Tressel had no complaints with his 25-man class, Doug Lesmerises writes in The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- Penn State didn't win the Jelani Jenkins sweepstakes but added wide receiver Justin Brown in a 27-man class, Jeff McLane writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- Danny Hope expects half of his first recruiting class at Purdue to contribute right away, Mike Carmin writes in The (Lafayette) Journal and Courier.
"I believe every one of the skilled kids have a chance to get on the field because that's where we have the biggest need," Hope said.