NCF Nation: Brian Gamble
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Northwestern media day has come and gone, and I learned that at least one Big Ten coach (Pat Fitzgerald) has read the blog. Only 10 more to go.
The schedule is shaping up a bit for next week. I'll be spending Wednesday at Camp Rantoul with the Illinois Fighting Illini, before heading over to Purdue for media day on Thursday. There could also be some surprises along the way.
Here's your daily diet of links:
- If you're just waking up, Ohio State defensive backs Donald Washington and Jamario O'Neal have been suspended for the first two games of the season. Not a major blow, given that they'll be back for USC, but it could shake up the dynamic in the secondary.
- Oh, and some guy named Terrelle Pryor spoke with reporters at Ohio State media day. He was a pretty popular man, Paul Schofield writes in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Items of note: Pryor rooms with starting quarterback Todd Boeckman, gets a lot of reps in practice and likes hanging out with the older players.
- More on Ohio State media day from The Columbus Dispatch's Buckeye Blog. Left tackle Alex Boone knows how to roundup the linemen -- "If you're big and fat, let's go" -- a group that includes Michigan transfer Justin Boren.
- Wisconsin star tight end Travis Beckum sat out Thursday's practice with "tightness in his lower body," but it doesn't appear to be too serious, Jim Polzin writes in The Capital Times. Also, defensive lineman Brandon Hoey's career is over after lingering back problems.
- The Badgers seem pretty solid at outside linebacker, but the middle is a concern. Enter Jaevery McFadden, who could unseat incumbent Elijah Hodge for the job, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus writes in the Badgers Blog.
- Indiana quarterback Kellen Lewis practiced with the third-team offense on Thursday, The Hoosier Scoop blog reports. Wow. He's really going to have to earn his way back.
- Apparently Akron doesn't like its chances to upset Wisconsin on Aug. 30. The school gave back some of its allotted tickets, so get 'em while they're available.
- Strong defense is a given at Penn State, but a strong season hinges on whether the offense can make up ground, Jeff Rice writes in the Centre Daily Times.
"Penn State has scored a total of six points in its last two trips to Camp Randall Stadium, where it faces Wisconsin on Oct. 11. It has scored a total of 23 points in its last three visits to Ohio Stadium, where it will face the Buckeyes on Oct. 25."
- Without star Sean Lee in the mix at linebacker, senior Tyrell Sales needs to step up for Penn State. It looks like he's ready, Sam Ross Jr. writes in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- Missed this one from earlier, but it looks like Rich Rodriguez isn't the only one shelling out benjamins after the legal dispute with West Virginia. But given the final outcome, I doubt the university minds too much.
- Wide receiver Brian Gamble and offensive lineman Mark Jackson are back with their Illinois teammates at Camp Rantoul after missing the first three practices, Bob Asmussen writes in The (Champaign) News-Gazette. There's also an item on cornerback Miami Thomas, who is from Chicago.
- Defensive end Cameron Jude and wide receiver Keshawn Martin are among the Michigan State freshmen who have impressed so far, the Lansing State Journal's Joe Rexrode writes in his blog.
- Spartans cornerback Ross Weaver hopes to stay healthy after several setbacks, Andrew Mouranie writes in the Lansing State Journal.
- Fomer Michigan defensive end Rondell Biggs was arrested this winter for illegal possession of steroids, which surprises Jim Carty of the Ann Arbor News.
- Add Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo to the growing list of people that envision a turnaround in Iowa City this fall. Sorry, I just don't see it.
- If you didn't figure it out already from my posts yesterday, Northwestern is gunning for a bowl berth -- and a win, Jim O'Donnell writes in the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Tim Brewster's incoming recruiting class is all the rage, but only three members from his first crop remain with Minnesota, Marcus Fuller writes in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
- Will a healthy and deeper line translate into more sacks at Minnesota? The Gophers have to do better up front, Kent Youngblood writes in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.