Friday, January 24, 2014
Key recruiting visits -- Big Ten
By Tom VanHaaren
There are only two visit weekends left before signing day, so teams are scrambling to get the last few chances in front of prospects. Here is a look at the bigger weekend visitors within the Big Ten.
If Michigan State can reel in ESPN 300 DE Malik McDowell, he would be the top-rated commitment in the Spartans' class.
1. DE Malik McDowell (Southfield, Mich./Southfield)
Visiting: Michigan State
This visit was up in the air, as it was possible McDowell would visit LSU or Michigan State. The Spartans won out and might end up winning when McDowell is ready to make his decision, too. If the No. 60 prospect in the ESPN 300 decides to stay closer to home, Michigan State could be the landing spot. This visit will be a big step toward reeling him in, which would be a huge win for the Spartans’ 2014 class.
2. DT Daniel Cage (Cincinnati/Winton Woods)
Visiting: Michigan State
Yet another big defensive lineman is visiting Michigan State this weekend. Cage, a four-star prospect, also has been getting attention from Notre Dame, as the Fighting Irish are still trying to reel in a defensive tackle in this class. If the Spartans can land both Cage and McDowell, this would be a monster defensive-line haul for the Spartans.
3. ATH Koa Farmer (Sherman Oaks, Calif./Notre Dame)
Visiting: Penn State
Farmer is committed to California, but Penn State has been in contact of late. It looked as if Farmer would visit Vanderbilt, but is now headed to Happy Valley for the weekend. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound three-star athlete has been picking up late interest from a few programs, so this recruiting battle should be interesting.
The three-star Oruwariye had been committed to James Franklin at Vanderbilt and is now considering the Nittany Lions. Penn State recently picked up a commitment from three-star cornerback Grant Haley (Atlanta/The Lovett School), but Oruwariye would be an added bonus to this class.
5. OL Kenyon Frison (West Valley City, Utah/Granger)
Frison recently decommitted from Utah and is now considering Utah, Arizona State, Nebraska and Oklahoma. The 6-foot-5, 281-pound, three-star tackle will visit Nebraska this weekend. The Cornhuskers could use a big tackle in this class, so Frison would be a huge get. It seems as though Oklahoma might have an edge, but this visit could help Nebraska in its efforts.
The Cornhuskers hosted former Vanderbilt running back commit Mikale Wilbon (Chicago/De La Salle) last weekend, and now they get a chance to impress Avery, a four-star prospect. The Nebraska coaches already have two running backs committed, so it’s not a huge position of need at the moment. If anything were to happen with the current commits, the coaches might have some options.
Reynolds was only recently offered by Iowa, but this could be a quick turnaround. With an in-state prospect at a position of need, this could be a match made for both. At 6-foot-3 and 283 pounds, Reynolds seems like the typical Iowa offensive lineman that Kirk Ferentz and his staff can turn into a great player. If Reynolds does pick the Hawkeyes, it would be a nice late pickup for the staff.
Sturghill actually committed to Wisconsin last week on Instagram, but Sturghill said the coaches want him to visit before making the commitment official. It is likely the No. 92 receiver in the country will be added to the commit list for the Badgers after this weekend.