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Monday, November 25, 2013
Weekend recruiting wrap: Big Ten

By Tom VanHaaren

Another week means more recruiting news within the Big Ten conference. There was plenty of action throughout, so here is a look at the top stories over the weekend.

Biggest commitment: Penn State picked up defensive line help with juco defensive tackle Tarow Barney (Senatobia, Miss./Northwest Mississippi Community College). He joins Antoine White (Millville, N.J./Millville) as the second defensive line commit in the class for the Nittany Lions.

He has three years to play two and could provide some immediate help along the line. Penn State is still after ESPN 300 defensive lineman Thomas Holley (Brooklyn, N.Y./Lincoln), who would be a huge addition to this class.

Minnesota received some pay out for its good play on the field in a commitment from three-star defensive end Julien Kafo (Montreal, Quebec/Vanier College).

Biggest offer: Northwestern offered 2014 Khari Blasingame (New Market, Ala./Buckhorn), who also holds an offer from Minnesota among others.

Iowa offered ESPN Junior 300 wide receiver Alex Ofodile (Columbia, Mo./Rock Bridge). The No. 149-ranked prospect has been racking up offers and now has Iowa, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan State, Missouri, Northwestern and Wisconsin, among others.

Best performance by a commit/target: Michigan commit Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic) had two touchdowns for his team in a win on Saturday. That included a 98-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter.

Ohio State commit Curtis Samuel (Brooklyn, N.Y./Erasmus Hall) scored three touchdowns in his game on Saturday in a win for his team.

Most important visit: Quarterback Tyler Wiegers (Beverly Hills, Mich./Country Day) recently decommitted from Rutgers. Wiegers immediately named Iowa as a favorite and scheduled a trip to see the Hawkeyes this past weekend.

Tyler Wiegers
Four-star signal-caller Tyler Wiegers, who recently decommited from Rutgers, could be headed to Iowa.
It looks as though that trip will pay off in the end, and the four-star prospect could end up choosing Iowa. If that were to happen it would be an outstanding get for the Hawkeyes staff.

Juco offensive lineman Chad Mavety (Garden City, N.Y./Nassau Community College) took a trip out to Ohio State. The 6-foot-6, 320-pound lineman said he wasn’t going to make a decision on the trip, but it looks like it could help him get to his final choice.

The visit went well for the rising prospect and he could be deciding which school to attend in the coming weeks.

Biggest answer: The future of Penn State recruiting is bright. Despite the loss against Nebraska, the Nittany Lions hosted several top underclassmen for the game.

ESPN Junior 300 prospects Ricky DeBerry (Richmond, Va./St. Christophers), Darius Fullwood (Olney, Md./Good Counsel) and Richie Petibon (Washington, D.C./Gonzaga) were all on campus. Rashan Gary (Scotch Plains, N.J./Scotch Plains-Fanwood), a huge 2016 prospect who already holds a Penn State offer, was there as well.

The big visitor list shows just how much interest there is in this program right now from younger prospects. That’s a great sign for the future.

Biggest question: With a big visitor weekend expected in Ann Arbor, Mich., will the game on the field impact the visiting prospects? Ohio State is looking to find a spot in the national championship game, so there is no doubt the Buckeyes will be pulling out all the stops.

Michigan is coming off of a near loss to Northwestern and a loss to Iowa with very little offensive success. If Ohio State comes to Ann Arbor and beats Michigan big, does that impact any of the visiting prospects in a positive way for Ohio State?

Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer recently offered 2015 Michigan commit Shaun Crawford (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Edward) and there are plenty of overlapping uncommitted prospects the two schools are both after.