Friday, June 24, 2011
Recapping a big day for B1G recruiting
By Adam Rittenberg
After a flurry of Big Ten recruiting news in recent days, I decided to share some thoughts Thursday afternoon.
Guess I should have waited a few more hours.
A surge of commitments continued throughout the evening, making Thursday the most productive recruiting day for the league in recent memory. The Big Ten added 13 verbal commitments on Thursday, spread between seven different squads. We likely won't see such a large league-wide haul on one day for quite some time.
Some highlights from the day ...
The Wildcats added three commitments Thursday night, bolstering its blocking for the future.
Offensive tackle prospects Adam DePietro and Eric Olson committed together on a conference call with Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald. DePietro was deciding between Big Ten schools Northwestern, Wisconsin and Michigan State, and also recently visited Illinois.
DePietro committed first and Fitzgerald "went crazy," he said. Then, DePietro said "I have a surprise for you," and Olson, the 6-foot-6, 265-pounder from Cambridge (Mass.) Buckingham Browne & Nichols, came on the line and committed.
Northwestern also landed a commitment Thursday from Jack Schwaba, who will play superback (tight end/fullback) in Evanston. The Wildcats now have 11 commitments for 2012.
After failing to a secure a verbal commitment through the first part of June, Indiana now has eight players on board. The impressive surge continued Thursday as wide receiver Kevin Davis and linebacker Jordan Wallace pledged for the Hoosiers.
Davis and Wallace are stepbrothers and played together at Warren Central High School in Indianapolis, one of the state's top programs.
"It's a dream come true,” Wallace told The (Bloomington) Herald-Times. "We've always wanted to play with each other since little league. Even academically it fits for both of us. We won't find it anywhere else. We can both do what we want to do."
Indiana also secured a commitment Thursday from linebacker Mike Cotton after adding receiver Caleb Cornett on Wednesday.
After making a big splash nationally by securing a commitment from defensive end Se'von Pittman last week, Michigan State added three more recruits this week, including two on Thursday.
Linebacker Jamal Lyles and tight end Josiah Price committed Thursday, following receiver Kyle Kerrick, who gave his pledge Wednesday. Lyles had offers from Iowa and Illinois, among other schools.
Michigan State now has nine commitments for 2012: five Ohio prospects, two from Michigan and one from both Pennsylvania and Indiana.
- Both Iowa and Nebraska secured verbal commitments Thursday from coveted defensive prospects. Iowa added Chicago prospect Maurice Fleming, a four-star player rated as the nation's No. 36 athlete by ESPN Recruiting. Fleming will play defensive back at Iowa but also could be used as both a receiver and a return man. Nebraska added three-star defensive end Greg McMullen from Akron, Ohio, a promising sign as the Huskers likely will focus more of their recruiting on Ohio as a Big Ten team. McMullen visited Nebraska four times and never heard much from Ohio State, which he described as a "black hole" because of the recent turmoil.
- Wisconsin added two defensive recruits from the Pittsburgh area, tackle Arthur Goldberg and defensive back Reggie Mitchell. Goldberg had several Big East offers, including Pitt, while Mitchell reportedly received his first offer from the Badgers.
- Purdue doesn't have to worry about recruiting specialists for some time. A day after kicker/punter Thomas Meadows committed, another specialist, Paul Griggs, gave his pledge to the Boilers. Purdue will need to replace the bionic-legged Carson Wiggs after the season.