NCF Nation: John Peterson

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Ohio State announced several changes to its football staff Wednesday, most of which come on the operations side.

The biggest change is probably the least surprising, as Nick Siciliano has been promoted to quarterbacks coach after serving as an offensive quality control assistant. Siciliano takes over for Joe Daniels, who will serve as associate director for personnel development after 39 seasons as an on-field coach.

Daniels has been battling kidney cancer since 2006 and has scaled back his work on the field. Siciliano essentially served as quarterbacks coach this spring and has worked very closely with Terrelle Pryor for some time. Daniels, who was Pryor's primary recruiter to Ohio State, surely will keep close tabs on the quarterback situation.

Other notable changes include Greg Gillum being promoted to director of football operations for player personnel. Gillum previously served as assistant recruiting coordinator and will continue to assist John Peterson in those efforts.

Former Ohio State player Todd Alles takes over as associate director of football operations after holding a similar position at Alabama the last two seasons.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

When Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster checked into his hotel Tuesday morning in Shreveport, La., the woman working at the front desk spotted the Golden Gophers logo on his shirt and smiled.

"The coach from Michigan just left," she told him.

Both Minneapolis and Ann Arbor, Mich., are located more than 850 miles from Shreveport, making it an odd place for Brewster and one of his Michigan counterparts to cross paths. But these days, Big Ten coaches are just as likely to bump into one another in Shreveport, Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Houston as they are in Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Detroit.

When Purdue head coach Danny Hope called ESPN.com on Wednesday afternoon, he was navigating a road near Bay City, Fla. An hour earlier, Wisconsin defensive line coach Charlie Partridge phoned in from the Fort Lauderdale area.

The Big Ten recruiting range is expanding far beyond the Midwest, and coaches are spending much of their time in the fertile states of the south and southeast.

If one incoming recruit symbolizes the recruiting change in the Big Ten, it's a safety expected to sign Wednesday with Wisconsin.

His name: Dezmen Southward.

His hometown: Fort Lauderdale.

"There's certainly great, great players in the Midwest, but just in terms of numbers, all you have to do is look at Division I signing day and the number of kids who play Division I out of this region here," said Partridge, who has recruited the Florida area for Wisconsin, Pitt and Iowa State, among others. "You can come down and get two to three kids who can have an impact on your program.

"People are recognizing the value of recruiting down here."

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