Chicago Colleges: Greer Martini

Big Ten viewer’s guide: Week 7

October, 10, 2014
Oct 10
10:00
AM CT
Week 7 is here, and let’s not sugarcoat it: Big Ten football has looked more interesting on other weekends. This first Saturday of the season without nonconference action lacks marquee matchups. Still, the division races will continue to take shape.

Here’s a look at the five games (all times Eastern):

Noon

Illinois (3-3) and Wisconsin (3-2), ESPN2: Will Melvin Gordon run for 300 yards? If the Badgers wanted it to happen, Illinois’ 119th-ranked rushing defense would likely comply. More of the intrigue in Madison involves the quarterbacks. For Wisconsin, Joel Stave, who returned last week against Northwestern, will see time, in addition to Tanner McEvoy, who might also take a shot at receiver. And with Illinois’ Wes Lunt out with a fractured leg, senior Reilly O’Toole and sophomore Aaron Bailey, who was set to redshirt, have competed in practice this week.

Indiana (3-2) and Iowa (4-1), ESPNU: Indiana has shown it can win on the road in tough spots, handing Missouri its lone loss on Sept. 20. The Hoosiers are more explosive on offense than any foe Iowa has faced. But Indiana still can’t defend well, in particular against proficient quarterbacks. The Hawkeyes are going back to Jake Rudock at the start, but C.J. Beathard will play. How well can Greg Davis manage this? If it’s a disaster, Indiana might just find itself in the right place at the right time for an upset bid.

[+] EnlargeDavid Cobb
Leon Halip/Getty ImagesDavid Cobb and Minnesota can take a big step in their quest for a Western Division crown by beating Northwestern on Saturday.
Northwestern (3-2) at Minnesota (4-1), BTN: Who would have guessed a month ago, as the Golden Gophers fell flat at TCU and the Wildcats sat winless, that this game would have legitimate implications for the West Division title race? It does, with NU in quest of a third straight unexpected win to open league play. Its defense led the charge against Penn State and Wisconsin. Minnesota is simply solid, led by David Cobb, statistically the league’s most valuable offensive player. Minnesota has defended the pass especially well in recent games and will test Northwestern’s Trevor Siemian, 13th in the Big Ten in QBR.

3:30 p.m.

No. 8 Michigan State (4-1) at Purdue (3-3), ESPN2: At least it’s not the best team in the Big Ten against the worst. Purdue escaped the low spot last week with a win over Illinois. And sophomore quarterback Austin Appleby looked good in the victory. Very good, in fact. Back at home, he figures to find a much more difficult situation against the Spartans, who might come in a bit angry after nearly blowing a 24-point, fourth-quarter lead against Nebraska.

7 p.m.

Penn State (4-1) at Michigan (2-4), ESPN2: The visitors from Happy Valley, after an off week, get an opportunity to show that their anemic performance against Northwestern was just a fluke. With an upcoming stretch of three challenging games, no better time exists for PSU to get healthy than at Michigan, trying to avoid its first 0-3 start in the Big Ten since 1965. Against a good Penn State front, the Wolverines must protect Devin Gardner and throw the football, neither of which they’ve done well in recent weeks.

Required reading

Quenton Nelson becomes No. 9 for 2014

May, 2, 2013
5/02/13
7:58
PM CT
Notre Dame continued its building of an even deeper offensive line Wednesday night, as the Irish secured a verbal pledge from four-star offensive guard Quenton Nelson (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Catholic).


Nelson is the Irish's ninth commitment from the Class of 2014, and the fourth offensive lineman among that group, giving the program nine offensive line commitments during the past two recruiting cycles.

The 6-foot-5, 285-pounder is the No. 11 prospect in the state of New Jersey and the 19th-ranked guard in the nation.

Brian Kelly secured the pledge from Nelson during the head coach's one allotted phone call Insider to the prospect during the spring evaluation period, our Jared Shanker writes.

"He's really thrilled," Nelson's mother, Maryellen, said. "We're so happy that he committed to a great school like Notre Dame. He's wearing his Notre Dame hat and shirt right now."

Here is a list of all nine Irish commitments from this class. ESPN150 members are designated with an asterisk (*).

" Four-star RB Elijah Hood (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic)
" Four-star DE Andrew Trumbetti (Demarest, N.J./Demarest)*
" Four-star ILB Greer Martini (Woodberry Forest, Va./Woodberry Forest)
" Four-star OG Sam Mustipher (Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel)
" Four-star WR Justin Brent (Speedway, Ind./Speedway)
" Four-star OT Jay Hayes (Brooklyn, N.Y./Poly Prep)
" Four-star OG Quenton Nelson (Red Bank, N.J./Red Bank Catholic)
" Three-star TE Nic Weishar (Chicago/Marist)
" Three-star OT Jimmy Byrne (Cleveland/Saint Ignatius)

Bryant addition another boost

December, 10, 2012
12/10/12
9:50
PM CT
Notre Dame has gotten quite the lift off the field following a 12-0 regular season on it.

Look no further than this past weekend, when four-star running back Greg Bryant pledged to the Irish, one day after the school beat out Ohio State for Class of 2014 Watch List offensive lineman Jimmy Byrne. Insider

Bryant, Notre Dame's 22nd 2013 commit, immediately becomes the Irish's second-highest rated prospect, beyond Jaylon Smith. And he will likely have the chance to step in immediately, with the Irish losing Theo Riddick and possibly Cierre Wood after this season.

With Bryant, George Atkinson III, Cam McDaniel, the yet-to-be-seen Amir Carlisle and freshman William Mahone, the Irish should have no shortage of backs to turn to next season, and the different styles each brings will create an interesting dynamic.

The addition of Bryant moved Notre Dame up one spot, to No. 3, in ESPN's class of 2013 recruiting rankings, behind USC and Florida. Insider You can read scouts' take on Bryant here. Insider

Below, we break down the Irish's 2013 and 2014 recruiting classes. The 2013 class features eight ESPN150 prospects (*), four ESPN300 prospects (**), 17 four-star commits and one five-star. The Class of 2014 consists of four players, three of whom are ESPN Watch List members.

Class of 2013
Class of 2014

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TOP 25 SCOREBOARD

Thursday, 10/23
Friday, 10/24
Saturday, 10/25
TOP PERFORMERS