A look at the latest recruiting happenings in the Big Ten Conference.
The nation's top prospect according to the 247Composite headlines a strong list of visitors for the BBQ At The Big House.
Big Recruiting Weekends
The Barbecue At The Big House Is On Sunday.
Top Prospects Visiting… The nation’s top overall prospect according to the 247Composite in running back Leonard Fournette. The New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine standout heads to Ann Arbor for the first time favoring LSU and Alabama, however his friendship with fellow five-star in Michigan commit Jabrill Peppers has helped put the Wolverines in the game. In-state 247Composite five-star defensive lineman Malik McDowell is a tentative visitor. In the 2015 class, five-star receiver George Campbell will be making a return trip from Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake, and 247Composite five-star Hjalte Froholdt may be on campus as well.
Most Likely To Commit… If anyone pulls the trigger this weekend it could be Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edward Top100 2015 cornerback Shaun Crawford, who 247Sports saw run 4.3 hand in the 40-yard dash at the Raw Talent Combine during the winter. Crawford has been to Michigan several times in the past and the Wolverines are the clear leader early in the process.
For more on the list of prospects expected on Michigan’s campus, check out Wolverine247 insider Steve Lorenz’s preview here.
The roster for Friday Night Lights in Columbus is absolutely loaded with talent in both the 2014 and 2015 classes.
LB Raekwon McMillan is one of four five-stars expected at Ohio State on Friday in the class-of-2014.
Top Prospects Visiting…Four five-stars in the 2014 class in linebacker Raekwon McMillan, athlete Curtis Samuel, cornerback Marshon Lattimore and Buckeyes commit Dante Booker will all be inside The Shoe. Ohio State is the leader for all three uncommitted prospects. 247Composite five-star defensive lineman Malik McDowell has expressed interest in attending in the past.
Most Likely To Commit…No commitments are expected. Samuel is making his first visit to Ohio State with his coach. His mother told 247Sports she plans to check out Columbus for the first time in September. That would be a better commitment watch date. In the 2015 class, Ohio State is the leader by a wide margin for exciting in-state Top247 playmaker Eric Glover-Williams. He’d be the best guess if there was some movement. If a player like offensive lineman Brady Taylor earns an offer, he’d likely commit on the spot.
For a complete list of the known prospects headed to Ohio State for Friday Night Lights, click here.
Top Prospects Visiting… Saint Paul (Minn.) Cretin Derham Hall 2015 five-star defensive end/outside linebacker Jashon Cornell will be back on campus after having visited the Hawkeyes campus several times in the past. Minneapolis (Minn.) Washburn Top247 running back Jeff Jones and O’Fallon (Ill.) High Top247 defensive end Dewayne Hendrix highlight the 2014 visitors. Jones, who is currently committed to Minnesota, has been to Iowa a few times while Hendrix will be getting his first look.
Most Likely To Commit…Kansas City (Mo.) Winnetonka linebacker Aaron Mends could very well join the Hawkeyes class. Iowa State is the competition.
For more on who will be in Iowa City on Saturday, Voice Of The Hawkeyes insider Todd Worly has it covered here.
Stretch Run For Northwestern
Top247 DE/TE Garrett Dickerson has Northwestern in his top three along with Michigan and Stanford.
Pat Fitzgerald and his staff have put together one of the best recruiting classes in Wildcats history, which currently ranks No. 5 in the Big Ten and No. 27 nationally.
Holding 13 commitments led by four-stars in all-purpose back Justin Jackson, quarterback Clayton Thorson, athlete Dareian Watkins and safety Jordan Thomas, Northwestern has room for two to three more prospects in 2014.
Looking to take any combination of the prospects listed below, here is a list of the players on the board for the Wildcats.
Bolingbrook (Ill.) High Top247 cornerback Parrker Westphal is Northwestern’s top overall target in being a Chicago prospect. The Wildcats are at the top of the list along with Arizona State, Michigan and Vanderbilt, however Westphal hasn’t ruled out several other schools as well including Michigan State.
Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic Top247 defensive end/tight end Garrett Dickerson is on the wish list as well. Michigan, Northwestern and Stanford make up Dickerson’s top three. His older brother Cameron is a sophomore receiver for the Wildcats.
Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence Central four-star linebacker Brandon Lee recently told 247Sports he’d like to get back to Northwestern in the next couple weeks. Lee last visited during the spring. Besides the Wildcats, other top contenders include Cal, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisville, Missouri and Oregon.
Still Actively Recruiting
Five-star CB Adoree' Jackson is an Illinois native. The Illini will get a chance to impress either this week or next week.
- The Wildcats continue to work to try and get New Orleans (La.) John Curtis cornerback Terrence Alexander on campus.
-Northwestern is a long shot for Houston (Texas) Lamar Top247 defensive back John Bonney.
-Corona (Calif.) Centennial defensive end/tight end Jaylen Johnson has been keeping in contact.
-The Wildcats are trying to get an official visit from Santa Ana (Calif.) Foothill athlete Bobby Okereke, who currently favors Stanford slightly ahead of Oregon and Vanderbilt.
-Northwestern has an offer out to El Cerrito (Calif.) High cornerback Adarius Pickett.
-Corona (Calif.) Santiago safety Ron Robinson’s first offer came from Northwestern, and for quite some time it was his only scholarship. UCLA offered in June after a strong camp performance and has given Robinson plenty to think about.
-Northwestern is one of the top offers for Clovis (Calif.) Buchanan safety Adam Soesman.
Five Star Aiming To Visit Illinois
Illinois could have Gardena (Calif.) Serra five-star cornerback Adoree' Jackson on campus as early as Wednesday. The Illini continue to battle for the Illinois native, who is also considering the likes of Florida, USC, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Tennessee and UCLA.
While Illinois is considered a longshot for Jackson, the blue-chip recruit keeps in regular touch with his recruiter Mike Bellamy and the Illini coaching staff. He is currently spending time in his hometown of Belleville, Ill., which is just outside St. Louis and a short drive away from Champaign. Head coach Tim Beckman and his assistants will keep swinging and see what happens for the nation’s No. 2 cornerback and No. 9 prospect overall according to the 247Composite.
Illinois will also host Saint Louis (Mo.) Lutheran North defensive end Renell Wren on Wednesday. The Illini offered during camp back in June. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Wren visited Purdue on Monday.
Indiana Upgrading Front Seven
No question Indiana can move the chains and score points. That offensive unit that ranked first in the conference in 2012 in passing, will make them one of the more exciting teams to watch this fall in the conference.
However, the question that lingers every year, and the answer that usually comes back with a resounding no as the games play out, is can Indiana get stops on defense?
LB/S Drue Tranquill announces his college decision Tuesday evening. Purdue is the favorite over Indiana.
In 2013 Indiana reeled in some of the best defensive prospects they’ve signed in recent memory and 2014 recruiting is off to a nice start in that regard as well. This past Friday was big as the Hoosiers scored a pair of commitments from defensive linemen Nick Carovillano and Jermane Conyers, as Kevin Wilson and his staff continue to look for added depth in the front seven. Word out of Bloomington is that Carovillano and Conyers are both players that could come in and play right away. After the first unit, things get real thin on the Indiana depth chart and the size and athleticism Carovillano and Conyers bring to the table instantly upgrade the Hoosiers on defense.
Around The League
-Indiana is gearing up for big recruiting weekends on Aug. 4 and Aug. 18. No definite visitors at this time, but the Hoosiers staff is expecting the majority of their top targets to be on campus those two weekends.
-It’s Drue Tranquill time. The Fort Wayne (Ind.) Carroll linebacker/safety prospect and Purdue lean will announce his college decision Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. (EST) during a press conference at his school. Indiana will try and change Tranquill’s mind. He arrived in Bloomington on Monday evening after spending the afternoon in West Lafayette. Tranquill will hang out on the Hoosiers campus most of the day.
-Nebraska is trying to get Fort Scott defensive tackle Abu Lamin on campus this weekend for an official visit. The nation’s No. 2 defensive tackle and No. 12 JUCO prospect overall according to 247Sports is coming off an official to Arkansas and he’s also high on South Carolina. The Huskers currently have 11 commits in 2014, with four-star defensive tackle Peyton Newell the next one to likely jump on board.
-Minnesota’s last big recruiting weekend was highlighted by the commitment of in-state defensive lineman Andrew Stelter, who pulled the trigger on Saturday. The nation’s No. 28 strong-side defensive end and No. 4 prospect in the state was a nice get for Jerry Kill and his staff. He has the skill set and frame to play across the defensive line on the next level, which is key for Minnesota as the Gophers are expected to ink a small class in 2014. The 6-foot-4, 247-pound Stelter was commit No. 6.
-Michigan State has emerged as the team to beat for Columbus (Ohio) Walnut Ridge defensive end Robert Bowers.
-Saint Paul (Minn.) Cretin Derham Hall five-star defensive end/outside linebacker Jashon Cornell tells 247Sports that he won’t be at Ohio State on Friday as originally planned. As reported above he’ll be at Iowa on Saturday. Cornell added he’ll be at Michigan’s home game against Notre Dame during the fall.