Big Ten: D\'Angelo McCray

Big Ten recruiting rewind to 2007

January, 31, 2011
As signing day approaches, it's fun to take a look back at how some of the Big Ten's top recruits from years past fared on the college stage.

ESPN Recruiting took a comprehensive look back at the 2007 recruiting class: how the top players fared, who met expectations, who exceeded them and who turned out to be a bust. It also revised the team recruiting class rankings.

Here's how some of the Big Ten recruits in the ESPNU 150 fared:

Illinois LB Martez Wilson (No. 5 nationally): After recording 73 tackles as a sophomore for the Fighting Illini, Wilson's junior season was cut short due to a herniated disc and he was granted a medical hardship. In 2010, he had 104 tackles, four sacks and two forced fumbles.

Michigan QB Ryan Mallett (No. 12): As a true freshman, he played in 11 games for Michigan before transferring to Arkansas. After sitting out a year due to transfer rules, Mallett started all 13 games in 2009 and threw for more than 3,600 yards and 30 touchdowns. He completed an Arkansas single-season record 242 passes in 2010 and is expected to be drafted in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft.

Illinois WR Arrelious Benn (No. 17): He was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and followed that up in 2008 by earning first-team All-Big Ten honors, as well as being named team MVP. He was given honorable mention All-Big Ten as a junior and drafted in the second round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is currently the team's No. 2 WR.

Michigan WR Junior Hemingway (No. 19): Hemingway played in 10 games as a freshman and redshirted in 2008 due to mononucleosis. Hemingway was the Wolverine's fourth-leading receiver in 2009 and third-leading receiver in 2010. He has started 18 contests at wideout in his career.

Wisconsin T Josh Oglesby (No. 28): After redshirting in Oglesby he played in 13 games as a sophomore and started every game in 2009. However, a knee injury in Week 2 ended his 2010 season.

Ohio State S Eugene Clifford (No. 37): After playing in four games for the Buckeyes in 2007, he was suspended for violating unspecified team rules and then kicked off the team before the 2008 season after being charged with assault. He transferred to Tennessee State where he finished his career with 204 tackles and was named as a first-team FCS All-American in 2010.

Minnesota QB Clint Brewster (No. 45): After redshirting in 2007, Brewster went to the College of Sequoias in 2008. He joined the Tennessee Tech roster in July 2008, but has sat on the bench since.

Illinois DT D'Angelo McCray (No. 64): McCray redshirted at Illinois in 2007, before transferring to Eastern Illinois. After playing in 2008 for Eastern Illinois, he transferred to Coffeyville Community College in 2009 and then transferred to Memphis University in 2010 totaling six tackles.

Michigan CB Donovan Warren (No. 86): In 2007, he played in all 13 games and totaled 35 tackles and one forced fumble. He was on the Freshman All-America Team and was named the Big Ten Defensive Freshman of the Year. In 2008, he started 10 games at corner and one at safety, recording 36 tackles. As a junior, he started all 12 games at corner, totaling 66 tackles, four interceptions and 11 pass breakups.

Michigan S Mike Williams (No. 94): After not seeing any game action in 2007, he played in 11 games in 2008, including nine at safety. In 2009, he started nine games at safety and played in 10, registering 56 tackles. In 2010, he appeared in two games before missing the rest of the season due to a head injury.

Iowa T Bryan Bulaga (No. 96): He played in seven games as a true freshman, starting five. In 2008, he started all 13 games at left tackle, earning second-team All-Big Ten honors. As a junior, he made 10 starts at left tackle and was named Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year. He was drafted No. 23 overall by the Green Bay Packers in 2010 and is the team's starting right tackle.

Ohio State moved up to No. 7 in the revised class rankings, while Michigan fell out of the top 10.

Michigan's Hemingway and Jerimy Finch, a safety who signed with Florida before transferring to Indiana, are listed among the recruiting busts of the 2007 class.

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

Be sure to check the blog Wednesday for a full Q&A with Illinois quarterback Juice Williams, but I wanted to post an early nugget from Williams about his teammate, linebacker Martez Wilson.

  Scott Boehm/Getty Images
  Martez Wilson should be able to participate in spring football.

Williams mentioned Wilson as one of several Illini players who has claimed a greater leadership role and a renewed attitude during the offseason.

Wilson, an immensely talented sophomore, faced some obstacles on and off the field in 2008. His numbers were decent but not what many had expected -- 73 tackles, three sacks, five quarterback hurries and  two fumble recoveries -- and he missed the season finale at Northwestern after being suspended for violating team rules.

Then, several weeks after the season, Wilson was stabbed outside a bar near the Illinois campus after coming to the aid of former Illini teammate D'Angelo McCray. Wilson underwent surgery for two stab wounds and spent several days hospitalized.

"I don't know what's in Martez's blood, but it's like he can't be down for long," Williams said. "Obviously, he went through the incident a couple months ago and he's recovered very quickly. He still has a bruise there, but I think he's going to be fine for spring ball."

A healthy and focused Wilson could mean a big boost for an Illinois defense that loses first-team All-Big Ten honorees Brit Miller and Vontae Davis.

Illinois' Wilson leaves hospital

December, 17, 2008

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

Good news out of Champaign today, as Illinois sophomore linebacker Martez Wilson is out of the hospital after receiving treatment for two stab wounds. 

Wilson underwent surgery after being stabbed outside a bar near campus early Friday morning. Head coach Ron Zook and another Illinois player confirmed that Wilson was trying to help former Illinois defensive tackle D'Angelo McCray, who was being beaten by a group of 6-8 men outside the The FuBar Lounge.

Wilson is expected to make a full recovery. No arrests have been made in the case. 

Several of you e-mailed about Wilson being in a bar underage. But the age to enter bars in Champaign is 19, and Wilson is 20. 

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

More information has emerged about the stabbing of Illinois sophomore linebacker Martez Wilson

Illinois head coach Ron Zook said Wilson was helping a former teammate after a fight at The FuBar Lounge when he was stabbed twice early Friday. Wilson reportedly underwent surgery following two stab wounds and continues to improve. 

"The guy did exactly what I would want him to do," Zook told the Chicago Tribune. "If a person sees a person in stress, he should come to his aid." 

Sources have told multiple media outlets that Wilson was trying to help D'Angelo McCray, a former defensive tackle at Illinois who transferred to Eastern Illinois. The Chicago Sun-Times reported McCray was being beaten by 6-8 men when Wilson intervened.

"He shouldn't have been out at 1 a.m.," Zook told the Sun-Times. "But maybe if he hadn't been out at 1 a.m., there would be another incident the police would be concerned about -- like a death. You want your players to help a person in distress. He comes across as being bad. He's being painted as a villain. But he did exactly what you'd want him to do. How do you fault a guy for that?"

Zook added that he would add FuBar to his list of off-limits places for players. 

Making all bars off-limits seems extreme and unrealistic, but the coach said he'll think about it.

"Do you tell them they can't go to the bars? That's something we have to visit," Zook said. "If you had your druthers, you don't want them to do anything. Just go to the library, the dorm, work out and watch tape, and that's it. But that's not how it is. I was out at 1 a.m. when I was Tez's age. They're college students.

"I tell my kids all the time, 'Nothing good happens after midnight.' By the same token, Martez did what you'd want a guy to do. I'm not condoning anything that happened. I just know this: If it had been me in distress, I'd have wanted to have Tez close by."

The best news is that Wilson appears to be OK and should make a full recovery.