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Monday, October 21, 2013
Weekend recruiting wrap: Big Ten

By Tom VanHaaren and Brad Bournival


Plenty of news and notes on the recruiting trail from the Big Ten Conference this weekend. Here is a look at some of the biggest news, performances and questions for the future.

Biggest commitment:

Tom VanHaaren: Brad has the bigger commitments covered below, but I think some more movement will start in the coming weeks. ESPN 300 prospects Da’Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) and Brandon Lee (Indianapolis/Lawrence Central) both announce their commitments in the beginning of November and there could be others in the coming weeks for the Big Ten.

Brad Bournival: Indiana picked up two more pieces to its puzzle when three-star outside linebacker Airius Moore (Beavercreek, Ohio/Beavercreek) and three-star running back Devine Redding (Cleveland/Glenville) gave their commitments to the Hoosiers. The 6-foot, 224-pound Moore is the seventh defensive pledge for Indiana in the Class of 2014. As a junior, Moore registered 73 tackles and four sacks.

Glenville is hardly a stranger to Indiana as junior wide receiver Shane Wynn is a star for the Hoosiers this season.

“They’ve been on him all year,” Glenville coach Ted Ginn Sr. said. “He’s a good tailback and a natural athlete. He’ll be a good fit at Indiana.”

Redding is the first running back taken in the class and only the fourth skill position player, joining wide receivers J-Shun Harris (Fishers, Ind./Fishers) and Coray Keel (Snellville, Ga./South Gwinnett) as well as quarterback Alexander Diamont (Los Angeles/Venice).

Biggest offer:

Brandon Wimbush
Brandon Wimbush has added Penn State to his list of offers.
VanHaaren: Penn State offered ESPN Jr. 300 quarterback Brandon Wimbush (Jersey City, N.J./St. Peter’s Prep) on Sunday. Wimbush is the No. 74 ranked prospect in the 2015 class and has offers from Maryland, Miami, Ohio State, Rutgers and Vanderbilt among others. He is listed as a dual-threat quarterback, which is an interesting aspect to the Nittany Lions offer, but he can definitely throw the ball.

Bournival: The Hoosiers stayed in the news with an offer to Equanimeous St. Brown (Anaheim, Calif./Servite). The ESPN Junior 300 wide receiver is ranked 12th at his position and 106th overall and has offers from Illinois, San Diego State and Washington State to go along with the one from Indiana. St. Brown has 19 receptions for 350 yards and has scored four touchdowns through seven games so far this season.

Best performance by a commit/target:


VanHaaren: There were a lot of good performances this week – here are a few examples. Michigan’s 2015 running back commit Damien Harris (Berea, Ky./Madison Southern) had 14 carries, 263 yards and four touchdowns. Trotwood Madison (Trotwood, Ohio) 2016 quarterback Messiah DeWeaver had 300 yards passing and four touchdowns in the first half of his game. Minnesota running back commit Jeff Jones (Minneapolis, Minn./Washburn) had 209 yards rushing and five touchdowns to give him 39 total touchdowns on the season.

Bournival: Purdue commit Drue Tranquill (Ft. Wayne, Ind./Carroll) and his brother Justin had games to remember in a 79-7 win over Waterloo (Ind.) DeKalb. Justin, who is being recruited by the Boilermakers, scored three times on three carries and logged 157 yards. Drue also carried the ball three times, scoring twice while logging 119 yards on the ground.

Most important visit:

VanHaaren: ESPN Jr. 300 defensive lineman Hjalte Froholdt (Warren, Ohio/Harding) visited Michigan this past weekend. This was a big deal because the No. 14 ranked prospect is back living in Denmark, so he doesn’t have a lot of opportunities to take visits. The Wolverines are in his top four and it looks like Froholdt could try to make a decision in the near future. He plans on coming back to America for his senior season, but the details still need to be worked out. It was a big deal for Michigan to get him on campus this weekend.

Bournival: ESPN 300 defensive tackle Thomas Holley (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln) will wrap up his official visit to Ohio State this morning. The Buckeyes brought in Holley along with fellow Brooklyn resident and Ohio State pledge Curtis Samuel of Erasmus High School. The New York duo watched Ohio State extend its unbeaten streak to 19 games with a 34-24 win over Iowa.

Biggest answer:

VanHaaren: It seems as if there are more questions than answers every week in the Big Ten. That was probably true with this weekend as well as we don’t have a ton of answers with some of the bigger 2014 prospects left on the board. Some of the top targets, including Da’Shawn Hand, Thomas Holley, Madre London, Brandon Lee, Kalen Ballage (Peyton, Colo./Falcon) and JuJu Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly) are still keeping things close to the vest.

Bournival: Purdue will find out soon whether it will be able to hold onto Drue Tranquill. The three-star outside linebacker visited Notre Dame one last time on Saturday during the Fighting Irish’s 14-10 win over USC. He’ll head back to West Lafayette on Nov. 2 for the Boilermakers’ Big Ten tilt with Ohio State before finally deciding whether to stick with Purdue or commit to Notre Dame.

Biggest question:

VanHaaren: Where will 2014 running back Madre London (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) end up? The three-star back is still considering quite a few Big Ten teams and he is fresh off of a visit to Illinois. It’s very likely that London will decide in the near future, so it will be a battle to land him. Michigan State has a good shot to land him as well as a few others.

Bournival: Can Ohio State continue its strong standing with ESPN 300 inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County)? The top-ranked linebacker in the country regardless of position changed his official visit to Clemson to Nov. 23. He’ll be in Columbus, Ohio this Saturday on an official visit to see the Buckeyes face Penn State under the lights. McMillan is ranked 14th overall.