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Monday, February 3, 2014
Biggest flips: Big Ten

By Tom VanHaaren

The 2014 class has seen a very high number of commitment switches during this recruiting cycle. With so many flips throughout the process, here is a look at some of the biggest in the Big Ten.

WR Saeed Blacknall (Manalapan, N.J./Manalapan)
ESPN 300 rank: No. 118
Flipped from: Rutgers
Flipped to: Penn State

When James Franklin was hired as Penn State coach, he said he would dominate the region. New Jersey is included in that region, and Franklin was able to flip Blacknall to the Nittany Lions after the wide receiver took a visit to Happy Valley. Adding Blacknall to the receiver haul in this class now gives Penn State some outstanding options for its offense.

Lawrence Marshall
ESPN 300 defensive end Lawrence Marshall flipped from Ohio State to Michigan.
DE Lawrence Marshall (Southfield, Mich./Southfield)
ESPN 300 rank: No. 121
Flipped from: Ohio State
Flipped to: Michigan

Marshall initially committed to Ohio State but decommitted only a few days after the decision. He eventually ended up committing to Michigan after rumors that Michigan State might have held the lead. The Wolverines needed defensive line help, especially at defensive end, so Marshall was a big pickup in this class.

WR Dominique Booth (Indianapolis/Pike)
ESPN 300 rank: No. 225
Flipped from: Tennessee
Flipped to: Indiana

Booth had been committed to the Vols for a while but ended up decommitting in December. He then decided to stay home and attend Indiana, where he enrolled early. Booth is the only ESPN 300 commit for the Hoosiers and has the opportunity to make an early impact at the position for Indiana.

QB Tyler Wiegers (Beverly Hills, Mich./Detroit Country Day)
Four-star prospect
Flipped from: Rutgers
Flipped to: Iowa

Wiegers decommitted from the Scarlet Knights, who have lost a ton of commitments in this class. He then visited and eventually committed to Iowa, which is getting an outstanding quarterback prospect. The Hawkeyes now have Wiegers in the 2014 class and ESPN Junior 300 quarterback Jack Beneventi for 2015.

DE Joe Keels (Kenosha, Wis./Highland Community College)
ESPN JC 50 rank: No. 43
Flipped from: Wisconsin
Flipped to: Nebraska

Keels is an outstanding junior college prospect who flipped from Wisconsin to Nebraska. The Cornhuskers had been looking for immediate defensive line help, and Keels will provide that. This commitment was even bigger when juco defensive lineman Terrell Clinkscales flipped to Kansas State and end Darius Slade flipped to Michigan State.

Prospects who could still flip:

Ohio State offensive line commit Jamarco Jones (Chicago/De La Salle) visited Michigan State this past weekend and is considering the Spartans. The Ohio State coaching staff conducted an in-home visit with Jones and his family before he left for East Lansing, so this one should be interesting to see where he ends up.

Minnesota running back commit Jeff Jones (Minneapolis/Washburn) didn’t visit Michigan or Florida but is still hearing from other schools. The chances for the Gophers to hang on to him are getting higher, but he’s still on this list.

Wisconsin defensive tackle commit Craig Evans (Sun Prairie, Wis./Sun Prairie) is still looking around. Michigan State could be an option for him if he decides to flip.