Big Ten: DeQuinta Jones
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Michigan still has some work to do on the field, but coach Rich Rodriguez and his assistants certainly have the arrow pointed up again after national signing day.
Minutes ago, the Wolverines added a major piece to their top-15 class as wide receiver Je'Ron Stokes announced he would play for Michigan. Stokes, ranked as the nation's eighth best wide receiver and 68th best player by ESPN's Scouts Inc., picked Michigan over Illinois, Georgia and Tennessee, the school where he originally committed.
The 6-foot-1, 178-pound Stokes fits the speed-first mold Rodriguez is trying to create with Michigan's wide receivers. Stokes joins Cameron Gordon as the only wideouts in Michigan's 2009 class.
With the additions of Stokes and quarterback Denard Robinson earlier in the day, Michigan has bolstered its depth at the skill positions and set the stage for some intriguing competition heading into the fall.
Michigan's ability to rebound in recruiting following the worst season in team history should restore some faith in Rodriguez. Granted, the program lost several commitments during the slide, including defensive tackles Pearlie Graves and DeQuinta Jones earlier Wednesday, but overall this was a very good day for the Wolverines.
The rewards might not show until 2010, but the talent is in place for Michigan to reclaim its status as a national powerhouse.
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
We're T-minus two days from the start of Big Ten media days in downtown Chicago. Items sure to be discussed ad nauseam: Joe Paterno's future, Rich Rodriguez's offense and the trouble in Iowa City. I can't imagine Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz is looking forward to his time at the podium Thursday.
Time to take a spin around the league:
- The Iowa state Board of Regents meets today to discuss how the university handled the sexual assault case involving two former football players and a female athlete last October. If Ferentz erred in his response to the incident, he should go, SportingNews.com's Dave Curtis writes.
- Former Hawkeye Abe Satterfield joined ex-teammate Cedric Everson in pleading not guilty to the sexual assault charges.
- Prep quarterback Kevin Newsome is still coming to Michigan, despite rumors that he's reconsidering his commitment. Meanwhile, the Wolverines went into Les Miles' backyard to snag their latest 2009 commit, defensive end DeQuinta Jones.
- It's impossible to sugarcoat Ohio State's bowl record against the SEC, but here's an interesting explanation about the struggles, courtesy of Bleacher Report.
- The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Doug Lesmerises breaks down the Ohio State defense. The big challenge is generating more pressure without top pass rusher Vernon Gholston.
- In case you missed it, Carson Palmer might live in Ohio, but the former USC quarterback is no fan of the state school.
- Indiana promoted from within to find its new compliance director. Up next: a new athletic director.
- Youngstown State, this is your future.
- Despite a rough stretch off the field and constant speculation about his future, Paterno still envisions a strong season in Happy Valley this fall.
- Illinois picked up two high school teammates for its 2009 recruiting class.
- Bleacher Report ranks the top 10 mascots in college football. Bucky the Badger comes in at No. 6, two spots ahead of Sparty the Spartan. No love for Purdue Pete or Brutus Buckeye? Can't wait to see all the mascots Friday at the Big Ten kickoff luncheon.
- Think Illinois' struggling basketball program could use wide receiver Jeff Cumberland in the post this winter?