Big Ten: Scott McVey

I won't be making it out to many preseason practices this year. Fortunately, the Big Ten Network is giving all of us a peek at every Big Ten squad during its Football Preview Tour. My pal Dave Revsine and analysts Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith are more than halfway through the tour, but the first two episodes aired earlier this week: Indiana and Ohio State.

I'll be watching all 11 preview shows and posting my thoughts right here.

Up first, Indiana and Ohio State.

INDIANA
  • The Hoosiers practiced in shoulder pads and shorts, and head coach Bill Lynch is intentionally reducing the amount of hitting in this preseason (to keep his team fresher for the season), so the workout wasn't as revealing as most of the others should be.
  • Wide receiver Damarlo Belcher is a huge target and made several routine catches in space. Indiana also seemed to be swinging the ball a lot to the running backs, including Trea Burgess and Zach Davis-Walker. "Against the nonconference opponents, they can win those games with this pass game," DiNardo said. Starting quarterback Ben Chappell was a bit shaky on some throws, but I'm not worried about him.
  • The running backs didn't seem to have much room on the inside throughout the practice. A few backs did a nice job of bouncing to the outside. Freshman Matt Perez had a very nice run in team drills.
  • Defensive tackle Tony Carter did a nice job of crowding the middle on one play, and linebacker Tyler Replogle had a nice hit against Darius Willis.
  • I liked what I saw from Indiana's three junior college transfers on defense: linebacker Jeff Thomas and cornerbacks Andre Kates and Lenyatta Kiles. Kates has extremely fast feet, and Thomas brings good size to the table.
  • Despite the losses of left tackle Rodger Saffold and veteran guard Pete Saxon, Griffith said Indiana's offensive line looked the best it has in years.
  • Quarterback Edward Wright-Baker reportedly has fallen behind Dusty Kiel on the depth chart, but he looked good passing the ball in this practice.
OHIO STATE
  • DiNardo brought up a good point about the need for Ohio State to have a dominant running back again, and how it will keep defenses guessing against quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
  • Pryor definitely seemed different to me, both in his interview with the BTN crew and in the practice. He showed patience and footwork under pressure and fired a good pass to Dane Sanzenbacher in team drills. I also liked the way he yanked defensive lineman Garrett Goebel off the pile to help running back Dan Herron get out. Pryor seemed to be running hard during conditioning and talked about his new attitude toward meetings as he hopes to increase his leadership.
  • Pryor had one big mistake, though, as safety Jermale Hines stepped in front of a pass to Jake Stoneburner and made the interception. Just a perfect read by Hines.
  • Cameron Heyward just looks bigger than everyone else on the field (probably because he is). I particularly enjoyed watching Heyward go against All-Big Ten guard Justin Boren. Two All-America candidates right there. Everyone keeps calling Heyward a defensive end, but I saw him lining up inside several times during the practice. I'll keep going with the very vague "defensive lineman."
  • The running backs and linebackers went against each other during a goal-line drill, and both sides had their moments. Herron absolutely trucked Dan Bain on one play, living up to his "Boom" nickname. Jaamal Berry scooted by his man, while Scott McVey made a nice stop against Carlos Hyde, who boasts good size and had mixed results in the drill.
  • Running back Jordan Hall had some nice moments, including a burst up the middle in team drills.
  • Some of the reserve wide receivers stood out. Sophomore James Jackson made a nice catch along the sideline, and senior Grant Schwartz showed the ability to create vertical separation.
  • Defensive end Nathan Williams, currently sidelined with a knee injury, was in a stand-up position on one play, while the other three first-team linemen -- Heyward, John Simon and Dexter Larimore -- were down in a stance. You figure Ohio State will use Williams like it did Thaddeus Gibson in 2009.
  • Berry had a good blitz pickup on one play, nearly leading to a big completion from Joe Bauserman to Taurian Washington.
  • Linebackers Andrew Sweat and Dorian Bell showed good hitting and tackling skills.
Up next: Penn State

Big Ten recruiting scorecard

June, 22, 2009
6/22/09
2:30
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

A fairly busy week for Big Ten recruiting, highlighted by Michigan State landing defensive end William Gholston. Here's your updated recruiting scorecard (note: because of my upcoming vacation, the next scorecard will appear July 7).

ILLINOIS

  • 2010 verbal commits: 5
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: Safety Corey Cooper, quarterback Chandler Whitmer
  • Quick take: Safety Daniel Easterly gives Illinois another dynamic defensive back, this time from the heart of Michigan State/Michigan territory in Detroit. Easterly also can play linebacker or wide receiver. Illinois appears to be close to landing several more Top 150 prospects.  

INDIANA

  • 2010 verbal commits: 5
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: None
  • Quick take: A good week for Bill Lynch and the Hoosiers, who added four high school prospects to the commit list. Wideout Logan Young is a big target at 6-5, 190, and tight end Leneil Himes also adds to the passing arsenal. 

IOWA

  • 2010 verbal commits: 6
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: None
  • Quick take: The Hawkeyes picked up an intriguing prospect in quarterback Austin Vier. He boasts very impressive size at 6-7, 220 pounds, but he didn't put up great numbers as a high school junior. Vier looks like a project who could pay off down the line for Iowa. 

MICHIGAN

  • 2010 verbal commits: 15
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: Quarterback Devin Gardner, wide receiver Jeremy Jackson, wide receiver Ricardo Miller, guard Christian Pace, safety Marvin Robinson
  • Quick take: Michigan continues to add recruits and has started to address the defense after stocking up on offensive skill players. Defensive back Courtney Avery originally committed to Stanford but switched after a recent offer from the Wolverines. The big question will be whether Michigan has both quantity and quality in its class.

MICHIGAN STATE

  • 2010 verbal commits: 5
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: Defensive end William Gholston, linebacker Max Bullough
  • Quick take: Gholston is a huge get for Michigan State and gives Mark Dantonio an elite defensive prospect from within the state. The cousin of former Ohio State star Vernon Gholston headlined an excellent week for the Spartans, who also added talented cornerback Mylan Hicks. All five commits are from Michigan, continuing a promising trend for the Spartans. 

MINNESOTA

  • 2010 verbal commits: 5
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: None
  • Quick take: A quiet week for the Gophers, but more commitments likely are on the way after camps this week. Cornerback Allen Veazie could contribute early in his career. 

NORTHWESTERN

  • 2010 verbal commits: 3
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: None
  • Quick take: The Wildcats finally got on the board and had a big week with three commits, all surprisingly from the South (2 Florida, 1 Louisiana). Running back Shontrelle Johnson looks a lot like Tyrell Sutton on film, and quarterback Trevor Siemian will provide depth behind Evan Watkins. Northwestern is still looking for another quarterback in the class. 

OHIO STATE

  • 2010 verbal commits: 5
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: Tackle Andrew Norwell, linebacker Jamel Turner, defensive end David Durham
  • Quick take: It's awfully quiet in Columbus right now. No need to panic, but the Buckeyes didn't end up with William Gholston and are still waiting on quarterback Andrew Hendrix. Expect some action soon for the Buckeyes. 

PENN STATE

  • 2010 verbal commits: 8
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: Wide receiver Adrian Coxson, running back Silas Redd, center Miles Dieffenbach, defensive end Kyle Baublitz
  • Quick take: Things have slowed down a touch after a busy late-spring push for the Nittany Lions. Dieffenbach and Baublitz are key early commits to fortify the offensive and defensive fronts. 

PURDUE

  • 2010 verbal commits: 1
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: Quarterback Robert Marve (2007 watch list)
  • Quick take: Danny Hope takes a very patient approach toward recruiting and doesn't understand the early offer craze. Still, it will be interesting to see when the Boilermakers land their first high school prospect. Purdue is in the mix for running back Austin White and punter Drew Basil.  

WISCONSIN

  • 2010 verbal commits: 3
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: None
  • Quick take: The Badgers should add a commit or two later this week as they continue a strong in-state recruiting push. 

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

An excellent summer suggestion by reader Derek from New Jersey:

Hey Adam. Is it possible to get a weekly recruiting report around the BigTen? Just who picked up commits at how many were top150.Thanks!

Excellent call, Derek. With Big Ten teams on break or just starting summer workouts, most of the news right now comes on the recruiting trail. I'll post updated scorecards every Monday or Tuesday from now until training camp.

ILLINOIS

  • 2010 verbal commits: 3
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: Safety Corey Cooper, quarterback Chandler Whitmer
  • Quick take: My mistake for leaving Whitmer off the watch list the last time. He'll provide a big help to the Illini offense in future years, and he's already helping to recruit some other top prospects to Champaign. Cooper, meanwhile, is still considering some other schools in addition to Illinois.

INDIANA

  • 2010 verbal commits: 1
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: None
  • Quick take: The Hoosiers beat out a number of schools for juco cornerback Andre Kates, a one-time Florida commit who recorded 49 tackles and three interceptions last year.

IOWA

  • 2010 verbal commits: 5
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: None
  • Quick take: It's been all defense so far for the Hawkeyes, who are solidifying their front seven with players like linebacker James Morris, who blew up recently at the Nike Camp in Illinois.

MICHIGAN

  • 2010 verbal commits: 13
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: Quarterback Devin Gardner, wide receiver Jeremy Jackson, wide receiver Ricardo Miller, guard Christian Pace, safety Marvin Robinson
  • Quick take: An extended offseason apparently paid off for Rich Rodriguez and his staff, who have put together the Big Ten's strongest recruiting class to this point. Defense should be a bigger focus with the next few commitments.

MICHIGAN STATE

  • 2010 verbal commits: 2
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: Linebacker Max Bullough
  • Quick take: Some Spartans fans are a bit concerned about the low number of commits, but Michigan State should be fine, especially if quarterback Robert Bolden or defensive end William Gholston hop on board.

MINNESOTA

  • 2010 verbal commits: 5
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: None
  • Quick take: Another solid start for head coach Tim Brewster, who got commitments from two in-state prospects (Jimmy Gjere and Lamonte Edwards) and talented Chicago-area wideout Antoine Lewis. The Gophers also are still alive in the Seantrel Henderson sweepstakes.

NORTHWESTERN

  • 2010 verbal commits: 0
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: None
  • Quick take: Panic time? Could be getting close to it. But Northwestern can be much more selective than usual with a very small recruiting class for 2010, not to mention Pat Fitzgerald's tendency to redshirt a lot of freshmen.

OHIO STATE

  • 2010 verbal commits: 5
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: Tackle Andrew Norwell, linebacker Jamel Turner, defensive end David Durham
  • Quick take: This won't be a huge class for the Buckeyes, and three "watch list" prospects out of five isn't too shabby at all. It has been a while since Scott McVey committed, so expect things to pick up soon.

PENN STATE

  • 2010 verbal commits: 8
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: Wide receiver Adrian Coxson, running back Silas Redd, center Miles Dieffenbach, defensive end Kyle Baublitz
  • Quick take: Penn State is pushing Michigan for the Big Ten's top recruiting class thus far, and the recent additions of Dieffenbach, Baublitz and guard Tom Ricketts are very encouraging. JoePa might be off the recruiting trail, but defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and others have done a fabulous job.

PURDUE

  • 2010 verbal commits: 1
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: Quarterback Robert Marve (2007 watch list)
  • Quick take: No high school verbals for the Boilermakers yet, but Marve's decision to transfer could be huge. If Marve can turn a page on his troubles at Miami, he could be Purdue's quarterback of the future beginning in 2010.

WISCONSIN

  • 2010 verbal commits: 3
  • ESPNU 150 Watch List: None
  • Quick take: In-state prospect Konrad Zagzebski was an excellent pickup for Wisconsin, which likely will look to add a few defensive backs in the coming months.

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