Big Ten: Milton Owens
- Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, a Nebraska alum, stumped for his alma mater to join the Big Ten back in January with commissioner Jim Delany, Rich Kaipust writes in the Omaha World-Herald. Nebraska is another measured move and a good one by the Big Ten, Mark Tupper writes in the (Decatur) Herald & Review.
- A look at the pluses (better football) and minuses (weaker nonconference schedules) of Big Ten expansion from annarbor.com's Dave Birkett.
- An interesting attempt at Big Ten division alignment from The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette's Marc Morehouse.
- Joe Paterno's other sons pursued non-football careers, but Jay followed his famous father, Bernard Fernandez writes in the Philadelphia Daily News. Has the Big Ten helped or hurt Penn State in 17 years? Statecollegecom's Mike Poorman takes a look.
- Big Ten athletic directors don't reveal much here, but they'll soon meet to discuss scheduling and division alignment.
- Illinois picks up a commitment from defensive end Chris O'Connor, ESPNChicago.com's Scott Powers writes.
- Indiana walk-on defensive tackle Milton Owens leaves for a scholie at Illinois State, Dustin Dopirak writes in The (Bloomington) Herald-Times.
- Rich Rodriguez and two Michigan players reach out to a family in their time of need, Angelique Chengelis writes in The Detroit News. After splitting the 1997 national title, Michigan and Nebraska can rekindle a rivalry in the Big Ten, annarbor.com's Birkett writes.
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Offensive lineman Jordan Marquette from Fullerton Community College in California has signed with Indiana, the team announced today.
The 6-3, 295-pound Marquette becomes the 19th member of Indiana's incoming class and will compete right away for playing time on the offensive line. He lettered two seasons at Fullerton and was named the team's offensive lineman of the year last fall.
Injuries plagued Indiana up front in 2008, and the Hoosiers remain fairly young on the line. Depth is also a concern with Jarrod Smith and Milton Owens moving from offensive line to defensive line, so Marquette should have an excellent chance to play immediately.
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Hours before tonight's State of the Union address, Indiana head coach Bill Lynch gave a State of the Hoosiers address early today.
Check out the full rundown of personnel departures, position changes and injuries -- trust me, there are plenty -- in Doug Wilson's blog post on The (Bloomington) Herald Times' Web site.
Here are some of the key points:
- Defensive tackles and brothers Keith and Kevin Burrus are among the eight players to leave the program during the offseason. Keith Burrus appeared in 12 games last fall for Indiana, while Kevin played in seven contests. Both players decided against playing a fifth year, and their departures thin Indiana's interior line depth for 2009. Indiana already lost another defensive tackle, Jeff Boyd, earlier in the offseason. As a result, the Hoosiers moved offensive linemen Jarrod Smith and Milton Owens to defensive tackle. None of the other players leaving the team had critical roles.
- Seven players have switched positions from offense to defense in an effort to help a unit that has struggled for most of this decade. The biggest move is Ray Fisher, who switches from wide receiver to cornerback. Fisher led Indiana in receptions (42) and touchdown catches (five) last year. He played defensive back in high school and recorded four interceptions as a junior.
- Injuries killed Indiana in 2008 and will continue to linger during spring ball, as several starters will sit out. The Hoosiers' spring sick bay includes safeties Austin Thomas (knee) and Nick Polk (knee), linebacker Will Patterson (wrist), defensive tackle Deonte Mack (hip surgery) and punter Chris Hagerup (knee).
- Former All-Big Ten quarterback Kellen Lewis will be a bit of a nomad this spring, moving from position to position. He'll continue to play some quarterback but could see more time at wide receiver.