The Big Ten conference really saw things heat up in the last week, as many programs saw new additions join their class.
Ohio State made a serious impression on Top50 DE/TE Jalyn Holmes during this week's visit.
Big Things Brewing At Ohio State
This week in Columbus it will be difficult to walk in any direction and not run into a blue-chipper.
Major developments appears to be underway as 247Sports Ohio State affiliate Bucknuts.com reported early Wednesday afternoon that Top50 defensive end/tight end Jalyn Holmes had committed to the Buckeyes.
Holmes denied the report via his Twitter, however at the very least, things appear to be seriously trending Ohio State’s way on this front. The Norfolk (Va.) Lake Taylor standout arrived on Tuesday.
It will be a five-star Thursday on campus when the nation’s No. 2 offensive tackle according to the 247Composite in Damian Prince and the country’s No. 2 defensive tackle Matt Elam according to 247Sports both make it to town. The Buckeyes are already one of the major players for Prince while they try and make a move for Elam on Alabama and Kentucky.
Other major 2014 targets expected to visit the remainder of this week includes defensive tackle Elisha Shaw, receivers Johnnie Dixon and Trevion Thompson, all-purpose back Derrell Scott and defensive tackle Thomas Holley, all ranked inside the Top247. Two other key prospects making their way to campus this weekend are four-stars in h-back recruit Austin Roberts and defensive lineman Derek Barnett.
For more Ohio State coverage, be sure to check out Bucknuts here.
Touted QB Zack Darlington headlines six Nebraska commits in the last week.
Nebraska Nets Six
Nobody did better than Nebraska, as Big Red Weekend was very fruitful for the Huskers. However, before the BRW festivities even began, Coach Bo Pelini landed a pledge from Highland (Ill.) High offensive guard Tanner Farmer. Then touted quarterback Zack Darlington of Apopka (Fla.) High jumped into the boat fresh off his visit the previous weekend.
The Lincoln campus was buzzing with good vibes when BRW finally kicked off, Texas cornerback Trai Mosley got things rolling with a Friday night commitment after earning an offer earlier in the day at camp.
On Saturday, three commits came in from in-state prospects in athlete Mick Stoltenberg and offensive guard D.J. Foster and athlete Demornay Pierson-El.
Now up to nine commits overall in 2014 headlined by Darlington, Nebraska saw its class climb into the Top40 at No. 37 overall.
Michigan State Making It Happen
The secondary in East Lansing just got better.
Over the weekend, sought-after Ohio athlete Vayante Copeland committed on his visit to Michigan State. Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary’s cornerback Jalen Watts-Jackson gave his word to Mark Dantonio and the Spartans on Wednesday, just days after earning his opportunity in camp.
Prolific QB Austin Kafentzis committed to Wisconsin on Tuesday, becoming the first Big Ten commit in 2015.
Copeland and Watts-Jackson gives Michigan State 10 commits in 2014, a class that currently checks in at No. 27 overall.
Wisconsin Gets Huge Jump Start On 2015
It’s always kind of nice to build a recruiting class around a big-time quarterback. The Badgers have two years to surround Sandy (Utah) Jordan signal-caller Austin Kafentzis with talent.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Kafentzis became the first class-of-2015 commit in the Big Ten conference when he pulled the trigger for Wisconsin on Tuesday. He threw for 3,018 yards and 32 touchdowns as a sophomore while rushing for another 1,884 yards and 26 scores.
Wisconsin also added to its 2014 class when in-state linebacker Dominic Cizauskas made the call on Wednesday, just a day after he was offered. He is the seventh commit for Gary Andersen in this recruiting haul.
Another Four-Star Headed To Iowa
Last Friday, the Hawkeyes were able to flip the verbal commitment of four-star safety Jyaz Jones, who was previously committed to Colorado State.
Jones is the younger brother of Hawkeyes class-of-2013 signee Anjeus Jones.
Purdue picked up a commit from Texas QB David Blough over the weekend.
Kirk Ferentz and the Hawkeyes have six commits in 2014, including three four-stars. The class ranks No. 44 nationally. Iowa failed to sign one four-star in 2013.
All-American Headed To Minnesota
The Gophers went into Texas and landed a commitment from U.S. Army All-American Connor Mayes, the nation’s No. 3 center according to the 247Composite. He is the younger brother of current Minnesota freshman Alex Mayes, Mayes also had offers from the likes of Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, TCU and Texas A&M.
Jerry Kill and his staff also went into Wisconsin and beat out the Badgers for tight end Gaelin Elmore. Besides the Gophers and Wisconsin, Elmore had opportunities to play at Nebraska, Michigan State, Indiana and Iowa State.
Purdue Picks Up Two
For a second-straight year, it looks like the Boilermakers are going to sign another talented under-the-radar quarterback. In 2013 it was in-state standout Danny Etling. This year it’s Carrollton (Texas) Creekview’s David Blough, who committed to Purdue over the weekend while on campus. Blough has turned in a strong spring and summer on the camp circuit and earned an invited to the prestigious Elite 11 national competition to be held at the Nike World Headquarters the last weekend of June. Blough is ranked by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 29 quarterback overall, way higher than the No. 53 spot he holds in the 247Composite.
Mishawaka (Ind.) Marian center Kirk Barron was all set to play for Ohio but he wanted a Big Ten offer and went and earned it by working out at two different Purdue camps. Once he got the scholarship opportunity, he jumped on it last Friday night.
Head coach Darrell Hazell and his staff now have four commits in 2014.
Illini Go Linebacker Shopping
Head coach Tim Beckman secured a pair of linebackers.
Rice Lake (Wis.) High’s Austin Roberts committed to Illinois last Thursday, shortly after earning his offer from the Illini at a Chicago-area satellite camp.
Stilwell (Kan.) Blue Valley’s Henry McGrew joined the fold on Tuesday, picking Illinois over Kansas and Iowa State.
Roberts and McGrew give Beckman six commits in 2014.
Northwestern Keeps It In The Family
Sylvania (Ohio) Southview linebacker prospect Nathan Hall jumped on a camp offer from Northwestern.
The Wildcats extended a scholarship on Sunday and by Monday evening Pat Fitzgerald had commit No. 12.
Hall pushed Northwestern’s class up to No. 21 in the national rankings. He is the younger brother of current Wildcats defensive back Jimmy Hall.
Indiana Adds A Lineman
The Hoosiers went into the Buckeye state and picked up commit No. 4 from West Milton Union’s Wesley Martin on Sunday. Martin earned his offer at camp on June 12.
Conference Storylines, What’s Ahead
-Michigan may soon have its first 2015 commit as well, joining Wisconsin. Natrona Heights (Pa.) St. Joseph offensive tackle Jon Runyan Jr. earned a Wolverines offer at camp on Monday and is expected to jump on it sooner rather than later. Runyan’s father enjoyed a 14-year NFL career as an offensive lineman after his days at Michigan. He is currently a New Jersey congressman.
-Northwestern has three spots left in the 2014 recruiting class and a perfect ending for the Wildcats would be the additions of Top247 cornerback Parrker Westphal, Top247 defensive end/tight end Garrett Dickerson and defensive end/outside linebacker Noah Furbush. The Wildcats are battling Michigan for all three. Stanford is also in the mix for Dickerson, while Vanderbilt is a player for Westphal, and Furbush also likes several other schools including Michigan State.
-The Spartans are working hard to flip Top247 defensive tackle Craig Evans from Wisconsin. A soft commit to the Badgers, Evans spent his Sunday in East Lansing and Michigan State gave him a lot to think about.
-Chicago (Ill.) De La Salle Top50 offensive tackle Jamarco Jones will announce his college decision next Thursday, choosing between Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. The Buckeyes got the last visit and appear to be the team to beat, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Jones select the Spartans either.
-Wisconsin could be close to landing another commitment from Sunshine State defensive back Zavior Hoxie who made it to Madison over the weekend.
-Clarkston (Mich.) High defensive tackle David Beedle is currently on Michigan State’s campus and if offered would likely jump into the boat. Lincolnshire (Ill.) Stevenson athlete Matt Morrissey will be back on Friday, and the Spartans legacy could also be put on commit watch. Clayton (Ohio) Northmont defensive end Terry Ramsey is another target Michigan State is in the thick of it for. He visited over the weekend, as did Niles (Ill.) Notre Dame running back Chris James, who is nowhere close to deciding.
-Speaking of James, he’s expected at Iowa this weekend, as the Hawkeyes will host several offered targets. Top247 defensive end Dewayne Hendrix headlines the list. Top247 running back and Minnesota commit Jeff Jones is tentatively scheduled to be there. Offered defensive tackle Jemal Averette will be on-hand, as will running back Treyvon Hughes, cornerback Raymond Wingo and in-state offensive guard Keegan Render.