Friday, January 31, 2014
Key recruiting visits - Big Ten
By Tom VanHaaren
The last visit weekend before signing day and there are some big visits scheduled within the Big Ten.
Here is a look at some of the more important trips scheduled within the conference.
1. OL Jamarco Jones (Chicago/De La Salle)
Visiting: Michigan State
Ohio State OL commit Jamarco Jones, the No. 74-ranked player nationally, is taking an official visit to Michigan State this weekend.
Jones is an ESPN 300 offensive lineman committed to Ohio State, so this visit is a big deal. He is the No. 74-ranked prospect in the country and would give Michigan State a huge boost along the line. The Ohio State coaches had an in-home visit with Jones on Thursday night but will have to wait for his decision until after the visit. There isn’t much time left to make a final decision, so this last visit could be huge.
2. DL Malik McDowell (Southfield, Mich./Southfield)
Visiting: Ohio State
McDowell’s last visit was to Michigan State and now Ohio State gets the last shot at landing the ESPN 300 defensive lineman. Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Florida State are all still in the mix, but where he lands is anyone’s guess. The No. 60-ranked prospect has kept everything close to the vest and has had every head coach on his list in to see him. This decision will be an interesting one to watch.
3. DE Blake McClain (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood)
The three-star defensive lineman decommitted from Florida State on Thursday and has decided to take a visit to Nebraska. McClain says he won’t be making a decision until after signing day, but wants to check out what the Cornhuskers have to offer. There is a chance he takes a few other visits after signing day, but that’s still up in the air.
The Wildcats only have one spot remaining in the 2014 class and Washington was recently offered. This visit could be what puts Northwestern over the top for the three-star end. The coaching staff has done well in Texas, and landing Washington would be a nice finish to the class.
5. DE Jashon Cornell (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall)
Visiting: Wisconsin or Indiana
The No. 1-ranked prospect in the 2015 class will likely take a visit this weekend, but to where is still undetermined. If he does visit a school it will either be Wisconsin or Indiana, which is a big deal for either program. Getting the opportunity to host a big-time recruit like Cornell this early in the process would be ideal for either team.
6. TE Kyle Penniston (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei)
Badgers coach Gary Andersen has some relationships on the West Coast from coaching Utah, and Penniston hails from a pretty prestigious school. It’s still early in the process for Penniston, but it’s good to get this type of prospect on campus on his own dime.
7. OL Jon Dietzen (Seymour, Wisc./Seymour)
An in-state 2015 prospect, Dietzen is the kind of big offensive lineman Wisconsin fans are used to. He is ranked No. 286 overall and has already picked up offers from the Badgers, Nebraska and Michigan State. Wisconsin already has ESPN Junior 300 quarterback Austin Kafentzis (Sandy, Utah/Jordan) committed for 2015, so eventually adding a lineman such as Dietzen would be another huge get.
8. WR Miles Boykin (New Lenox, Ill./Providence Catholic):
The Fighting Illini are hosting plenty of top juniors, including in-state 2015 wide receiver Boykin. At 6-foot-4, 212 pounds, Boykin already holds an offer from Illinois and would be a big deal if the coaches can keep him in-state.