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Thursday, December 12, 2013
Big Ten recruiting storylines: Dec. 12

By Tom VanHaaren

This is the last week before a dead period, which means coaches will be hosting important targets and visiting as many schools as they can.

There is plenty to discuss within the Big Ten, so here is a look at this week’s storylines.

Waiting for Raekwon

The No. 12 ranked prospect in the country, linebacker Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga./Liberty County), is scheduled to annouce his decision Dec. 16.

The No. 1 ranked linebacker has Ohio State in his top three with Alabama and Clemson and will receive an in-home visit from the Buckeyes’ coaching staff.

The interesting part about this is there are plenty of rumors swiring around Alabama coach Nick Saban and Texas. Those rumors have likely made their way to McMillan. Whether they impact his decision, or not, is a question that remains.

Booth picking up interest

ESPN 300 wide receiver Dominique Booth (Indianapolis/Pike) recently parted ways with Tennessee. The No. 232 prospect will be taking an official visit to Rutgers this weekend, but has heard from plenty of other schools.

Indiana is one of those programs, and that could be a final destination for the four-star receiver. He would be a welcomed addition to the Hoosiers class and would fit very well within the Hoosieres offense.

A decision will likely come soon.

Michigan's big weekend

Michigan is hosting most of its committed prospects from the 2014 class for their official visits. In that regard it isn’t a huge deal, but the fact that Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic) is expected to be on campus is a big deal.

Peppers had recently stated he would take visits after his season, but this official visit to Michigan could seal off any chance at those visits actually taking place.

This is the only visit Peppers has scheduled and if he comes out of the weekend satisfied, there is a good chance no other official visits will happen.

The Wolverines are also hosting 2014 running back Vic Enwere (Sugar Land, Texas/Fort Bend Austin), who is currently committed to Cal. Enwere won’t make a final decision until signing day, but says that he is considering Michigan.

Interest picking up for quarterbacks

The 2015 class is full of top-tier quarterbacks, so many teams are playing a waiting game to evaluate the right prospect. Jimmy Fitzgerald (Champaign, Ill./Centennial) is a prospect who has been picking up interest from programs across the country.

“Indiana, Purdue, Michigan, Harvard and Yale have been talking to me a lot,” he said.

Fitzgerald also holds an offer from the hometown school, Illinois. He is taking his time and trying to reach out to as many programs as he can before making any real decisions.

Some coaches, including Michigan, have told him they are narrowing their searches and still evaluating the quarterbacks to see who fits best.

Nick Johns (Washington, D.C./Gonzaga College) is another 2015 prospect hearing from Big Ten teams. Penn State and Michigan have both been in contact, and he has also heard from Tennessee, Vanderbilt and North Carolina.

Johns holds an offer from Virginia and believes a few other programs might be close to offering.

His school has plenty of talent for coaches to watch, including ESPN Junior 300 offensive lineman Richie Petitbon, wide receiver Jabari Greenwood and defensive back Marcus Lewis.

With so many prospects, plenty of coaches will be making their way through the school's halls.

Penn State back in the market

John Wolford
John Wolford of Jacksonville (Fla.) Bishop Kenny is Florida's all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns.
Despite having 2014 quarterback Michael O’Connor (Bradenton, Fla./IMG Academy) committed, the Nittany Lions have extended an offer to another 2014 quarterback.

John Wolford (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny), an East Carolina pledge, was offered by Bill O’Brien on Wednesday. The three-star quarterback is starting to pick up interest from some big schools, so he might have a decision to make about his commitment in the near future.

The offer came shortly after it was announced that Penn State quarterback Tyler Ferguson would be transferring. It’s no surprise that Ferguson decided to transfer after the emergence of freshman Christian Hackenberg this past season.

Illinois visit weekend

Illinois is still targeting defensive linemen and the coaching staff will get the opportunity to impress a few this weekend.

Four-star defensive tackle Daniel Cage (Cincinnati, Ohio/Winton Woods) is taking his official visit this weekend. The Illini might be a little behind for the 6-foot-3, 290-pound lineman, so this will be a good opportunity to gain some ground.

The staff will also be hosting juco defensive end Jonathon Johnson (Woodland Hills, Calif./Pierce College), who is committed to Arizona State. Johnson is the No. 8 junior college defensive end and would be a big flip for Illinois if he were to make the switch.

Teammates Tyrin and Tyree Stone-Davis are committed to Illinois and also will be on the visit, so there will be some extra recruiters in his ear.