Big Ten: Dwayne Johnson

Big Ten recruiting all-name team

February, 8, 2013
2/08/13
10:30
AM ET
Dozens and dozens of recruits officially became Big Ten players during Wednesday's signing day. There are lots of new names to learn, and some of them are much more fun than others.

With that in mind, we've come up with our annual recruiting all-name team. There might not be a name quite as good as new Alabama signee Dee Liner, who of course, plays on the D-line. But the Big Ten is no slouch when it comes to monikers.

There's a Taco and a Sprinkle on the defensive line. There's a Nebraska linebacker who shares a name with the most famous woman in grunge and a Huskers offensive lineman who might be nicknamed "The Rock." Minnesota has a linebacker named De'Niro who hopefully won't keep asking Jerry Kill, "You talkin' to me?" We've got a Dad in the secondary, some Jazz in the receiving corps and a big ol' Butt at tight end.

What's in a name? Hopefully some great future players here who will keep brightening up our lives. Presenting the 2013 Big Ten recruiting all-name team:

Team Captain: Taco Charlton, DL, Michigan
Alternate captain: Courtney Love, LB, Nebraska

Offense

QB: Tanner McEvoy, Wisconsin
RB: Akrum Wadley, Iowa
RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State
WR: Jazz Peavy, Wisconsin
WR: Marchie Murdock, Illinois
WR: Csont'e York, Michigan
TE: Jake Butt, Michigan
OL: Chongo Kondolo, Nebraska
OL: Dwayne Johnson, Nebraska
OL: Dallas Hinkhouse, Illinois
OL: Graham Bullmore, Northwestern*

Defense

DL: Taco Charlton, Michigan
DL: Chikwe Obasih, Wisconsin
DL: Tracy Sprinkle, Ohio State
DL: Henry Poggi, Michigan
LB: De'Niro Laster, Minnesota
LB: Courtney Love, Nebraska
LB: Josey Jewell, Iowa
DB: Sojourn Shelton, Wisconsin
DB: Daletavius McGhee, Minnesota
DB: Boaz Joseph, Nebraska
DB: Dad Poquie, Penn State*

Specialists

K: Hunter Niswander, Northwestern
All-purpose: Godwin Igwebuike, Northwestern

* walk-on

The penultimate weekend before signing day is in the books, and not surprisingly, there was plenty of news on the Big Ten recruiting trail. As a reminder, you should bookmark ESPN Recruiting and particularly the Midwest blog Insider for all your Big Ten recruiting news leading up to the big day.

Michigan made the biggest splash of the weekend -- although not a surprising one -- as it secured a commitment from running back Derrick Green of Richmond, Va., who picked Michigan ahead of Tennessee and Auburn. Rated as the nation's No. 5 running back and No. 38 overall player by ESPN Recruiting, Green immediately becomes Michigan's highest-rated commit in an already solid 2013 class. Although Michigan had 14 commits in the ESPN 300 -- second in the Big Ten behind Ohio State -- Green is ranked 50 spots higher than the next Michigan pledge (cornerback Jourdan Lewis).

But Green isn't merely a decorated prospect. He fills a significant need for Michigan, which has significant question marks at running back. The Wolverines couldn't generate a run game outside of quarterback Denard Robinson in 2012, as Fitz Toussaint struggled to build off of a solid 2011 season before suffering a major leg injury Nov. 17 and undergoing surgery. How Toussaint responds from the setback remains to be seen, and Michigan's other backs -- Thomas Rawls, Justice Hayes -- are unproven.

The 6-foot, 215-pound Green is the type of back who could contribute right away, Insider and he'll at least give Michigan another option in the backfield. Michigan now has three running backs in its 2013 class.

Other recent Big Ten recruiting notes (2013 class):
  • Purdue is making a push as signing day nears, picking up four commitments during the weekend. The Boilers added linemen on both sides of the ball in Johnny Daniels (defense) and Jason Tretter (offense), as well as wide receiver Deangelo Yancey, an Atlanta native who originally had committed to Kentucky. Insider Yancey chose Purdue ahead of Missouri. The recent coaching staff hires already have paid off in recruiting. Tight end Garrett Hudson, the son of new Boilers defensive coordinator Greg Hudson, committed to the Boilers after visiting the school this weekend.
  • Indiana's recruiting upgrade on defense has become a major story line as signing day nears, and the Hoosiers added another piece Friday in cornerback Nigel Tribune, who switched his pledge from Iowa State after visiting IU's campus. The Hoosiers are quietly putting together one of the league's top classes, and their highest-rated prospects -- Rashard Fant, Darius Latham, David Kenney III, Antonio Allen -- are set to contribute on defense. There was a bit of bad news as one-time commit Jacobi Hunter, a defensive tackle, tweeted that Indiana pulled his scholarship offer. Hunter is looking at Cal.
  • Nebraska didn't add any recruits during the weekend and will learn today whether offensive lineman Dwayne Johnson becomes a Husker, but the program was in the news. Wide receiver recruit Dominic Walker, who recently switched his pledge from Nebraska to Auburn, told the Orlando Sentinel that the Nebraska coaches were "very mad" when he told them of his decision. According to Walker, Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini told him, "Best of luck. You're going to need it." It's important to note that this is all coming from Walker's side, as college coaches can't publicly discuss specific recruits. Nebraska lost another recruit during the weekend as safety Marcus McWilson tweeted that he's no longer committed to the school. McWilson could be headed to Kentucky.
  • Iowa bolstered its defensive backfield Insider with a commitment from cornerback Desmond King, who had originally pledged to Ball State. King, a Detroit native, already knows several Hawkeye players from the area such as receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley.
  • There are several loyal blog readers -- one in particular -- who send me frequent notes asking why the University of Toronto isn't a Big Ten expansion candidate. My answer hasn't changed -- don't see it happening -- but there was a connection between the school and the Big Ten during the weekend. Defensive tackle James Bodanis reportedly is transferring from Toronto to Michigan State, where he'll have two years of eligibility left. Bodanis recorded four sacks in eight games for Toronto last season.
  • New Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen has done a good job retaining the recruits who committed to the previous staff. He's also adding to the mix, Insider securing a pledge Saturday from linebacker Leon Jacobs from Santa Clarita, Calif. Jacobs originally committed to Fresno State before opening up his recruitment. Wisconsin currently has only two California natives on its roster, so it'll be interesting to see if Andersen's West Coast ties and those of his assistants bring in more recruits from the Golden State.

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