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Monday, November 4, 2013
Weekend recruiting wrap: Big Ten

By Tom VanHaaren and Brad Bournival

An exciting weekend on the field for Big Ten schools translated over to the recruiting trail. There wasn't much action in terms of commitments, but it set the tone for the future for many teams.

Here is a look at what happened around the conference.

Biggest commitment:

VanHaaren: Despite an exciting weekend on the field, there was only one commitment in the Big Ten over the weekend, so there isn’t much to talk about. This coming week, however, could see a little more action. Running back Madre London (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) is set to announce at 8 p.m. on Monday and is very likely headed to the Big Ten.

Brad Bournival: Purdue picked up commitment No. 11 when defensive tackle Will Colmery (La Grange Park, Ill./Nazareth Academy) gave his pledge to the Boilermakers. Having been outscored 297-92 this season and 155-17 in Big Ten play, Purdue’s attention as of late has been to give a boost to the defensive side of the ball.

Colmery is the fourth defensive commitment for the Boilermakers in this class and is the third pledge in the front seven. He is the first defensive lineman taken in 2014. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Colmery chose Purdue over Central Michigan and Wyoming.

Biggest offer:

VanHaaren: Illinois offered a few 2015 prospects, including athlete Jack Hockaday (Maroa, Ill./Maroa-Forsyth) and Calvin Brewton (Miami/Miami Central). Hockaday is being recruited as a safety, linebacker hybrid and is being targeted by other Big Ten foes, Iowa and Nebraska.

Bournival: Tommy Stevens (Indianapolis/Decatur Central) picked up his second Big Ten offer and third overall when Indiana tendered one to the junior. So far, Iowa and Cincinnati have also offered the 6-4, 190-pound Stevens, who threw for 1,531 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. The dual-threat quarterback also rushed for 785 yards and seven touchdowns.

Best performance by a commit/target:

VanHaaren: Northwestern commit Dareian Watkins (Galion, Ohio/Galion) had 107 yards rushing and one touchdown to go along with 12-of-20 passing for 163 yards and one touchdown. He has had three interceptions on defense in a 27-0 win.

Bournival: There’s a reason Indiana is on quarterback Drew Lock (Lee’s Summit, Mo./Lee’s Summit) early. The junior was 13-of-16 for 415 yards and threw six touchdown passes in a 56-24 win over Joplin (Mo.) this weekend.

Most important visit:

VanHaaren: The 2015 prospects visiting Michigan State. The Spartans win over Michigan was in dominating fashion, and there was a lot of big prospects to see it. In-state targets David Moorman (Northville, Mich./Northville), Tyriq Thompson (Detroit/Martin Luther King), Kyonta Stallworth (St. Clair Shores, Mich./Lake Shore) and John Kelly (Oak Park, Mich./Oak Park) were a few on campus for the game. It’s a big deal for the Michigan State coaches to get those targets on campus and let them see that win in person. It should pay dividends in the future.

Bournival: Purdue hosted pledge Drue Tranquill (Ft. Wayne, Ind./Carroll) for what the three-star outside linebacker has said is his last visit. Now, the Boilermakers will have to wait. Tranquill started to waiver with his commitment when Notre Dame offered in August and has visited both campuses since then. While the 56-0 shellacking Purdue took against Ohio State on Saturday in front of Tranquill wasn’t what the Boilermakers wanted, the fact Tranquill wants to wait until his high school season is over before finally deciding buys the school more time to convince him to stick around.

Biggest answer:

DeAndre Goolsby
Tight end DeAndre Goolsby will choose between Kansas State, Oklahoma, Florida, Ohio State and Arkansas this week.
VanHaaren: Once again there seems to be more questions than answers in the Big Ten. The only answer as of right now is probably that Ohio State is certainly going to reap the benefits from this season. The Buckeyes were undefeated last season, but this time it will be allowed to participate in a bowl game. If all goes as planned, it could be the Rose Bowl, or even the National Championship game.

Bournival: It will come this week from tight end DeAndre Goolsby (Derby, Kans./Derby) as he wrapped up his final official visit to Kansas State this weekend after visiting Oklahoma, Florida, Ohio State and Arkansas. He went to Twitter on Sunday afternoon and announced he will be making his decision this week. Many think he’ll stay in the Midwest and choose Arkansas.

Biggest question:

VanHaaren: What happens on Da’Shawn Hand’s (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge) official visit to Florida on November 9. It’s the last official visit for the No. 6 ranked prospect and his announcement will be five days later. This visit could be big for the Gators, or it could seal the deal for Michigan if it doesn’t wow him. Michigan and Alabama fans will be watching closely.

Bournival: Will Alabama’s risky postponement of ESPN 300 teammates Marshon Lattimore (Cleveland/Glenville) and Erick Smith’s official visits pay off? The two were supposed to see to this weekend’s game against LSU, but will now visit on Dec. 13. That will give the Crimson Tide the final word before the month-long dead period, which starts Dec. 16. Where it gets interesting is the two never saw an Alabama game so their only in-game visits this season are with Michigan and Ohio State. By the time December rolls around both could have already made a decision, publicly or with silent commitments.