The first major recruiting weekend of the year is here in the Big Ten, and it’s going down in Ann Arbor for Under The Lights Two at the Big House.
Malik McDowell and Da'Shawn Hand would be an outstanding finish to Michigan's 2014 recruiting class.
Michigan will host many of its top prospects in the sophomore, junior and senior classes for its showdown with Notre Dame, and we’ll take a look at who could eventually end up Wolverines at some point down the road.
-Woodbridge (Va.) High five-star defensive end Da’Shawn Hand’s 247Sports Crystal Ball currently favors Michigan, with Alabama being the other program to watch. Hand is scheduled to announce his college decision on Nov. 14.
-Southfield (Mich.) High Top50 defensive lineman Malik McDowell’s 247Sports Crystal Ball read unanimous in him eventually signing with the Wolverines. McDowell does not have a timetable for a college decision, but everything points to the Maize and Blue having a huge lead.
-St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin Derham Hall five-star defensive end Jashon Cornell returns to Ann Arbor. His 247Sports Crystal ball currently favors Notre Dame, but Michigan has a pulse and it could grow stronger as the process continues, beginning with a fantastic visit this weekend.
-According to the 247Sports Crystal Ball, Iowa is the current team to beat for Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier Top50 linebacker Justin Hilliard, as his brother is committed to the Hawkeyes in the 2014 class. However as the process continues, that could very well change and Michigan has as good a shot as any other program to land the state of Ohio’s top-ranked prospect. Also firmly in the mix, Notre Dame and Ohio State among others.
-It’s looking like a Michigan-Michigan State battle for Saginaw (Mich.) Heritage Top100 cornerback Brian Cole, with the Spartans currently holding the slight edge on the 247Sports Crystal Ball.
Looking ahead to 2016, Michigan is sitting pretty with touted OT Erik Swenson.
-Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech Top247 two-way lineman Joshua Alabi has Michigan among his early leaders.
-Michigan is the unanimous choice on the 247Sports Crystal Ball to ultimately land four-star legacy Tyrone Wheatley Jr. of Manlius (N.Y.) Canisius.
Downers Grove (Ill.) South offensive tackle Erik Swenson already has an offer from Michigan, the team he grew up rooting for, and it’s going to be tough for any program to pass the Wolverines on his list.
Tale Of The Tape
Brady Hoke and his staff will have several commits on campus to help entertain in both the 2014 class, currently ranked No. 8 nationally by 247Sports, and in the 2015 class, currently ranked No. 4 nationally. There will be many other prospects visiting that don’t yet hold a Michigan scholarship offer including five-star defensive tackle Tim Settle and four-star offensive tackle Matthew Burrell.
For a complete list of who’s expected in Ann Arbor this weekend, click here.
East Lansing Also A Popular Spot This Weekend
Michigan State is moving fast on Top247 ATH Montae Nicholson.
Michigan State has been doing a great job of getting its top targets on campus as of late and that will be no different this weekend for the second home game of the season, as South Florida comes to town.
-The Spartans will look to make a move on Penn State and Pittsburgh for Top247 senior athlete Montae Nicholson. The Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway standout is friends with Michigan State safety Demetrious Cox, a fellow Pennsylvania native.
-The nation’s No. 7 running back in 2015 in Hubbard (Ohio) High’s Larry Scott will arrive already holding a Michigan State offer. He had a big sophomore year, rushing for 1,614 yards and 23 touchdowns.
-Orchard Lake (Mich.) St. Mary’s 2015 cornerback Tyson Smith has a Michigan State offer and will be back again for another look.
-Traverse City (Mich.) West 2016 offensive tackle Thiyo Lukusa has the very early offer from the Spartans.
Michigan State continues to try and get ahead on future prospects. Besides Lukusa, other top 2016s expected to attend includes Detroit Cass Tech teammates in defensive back Lavert Hill and Demetric Vance along with Southfield running back Matthew Falcon and Chandler Park Academy receiver Jalen Martin.
Top247 ATH Noah Brown could bring even more speed to Ohio State.
Several Spartans commits will also be back in East Lansing.
For a complete list of visitors expected, click here.
Ohio State Offense – Lots Of Different Toys To Play With
Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer’s beginning to stockpile dynamic playmakers.
Already off to a fantastic start in 2014, Meyer and his staff have reeled in verbals from athlete Curtis Samuel, receiver Parris Campbell, receiver Terry McLaurin and athlete Lonnie Johnson thus far and are looking for more.
Sparta (N.J.) Pope John XXIII Top247 athlete Noah Brown could be next. He’ll take his official visit to Columbus this weekend and the 247Sports Crystal Ball currently favors the Buckeyes. Ohio State is recruiting the 6-foot-2, 212-pound Brown as a receiver.
Every prospect listed could be a factor at Ohio State in the run game, pass game and return game. Every prospect listed will bring a lot of speed to the Big Ten.
Ohio State has the nation's No. 2 ranked recruiting class according to 247Sports.
Things Picking Up At Nebraska
The Cornhuskers went nearly two months without a commitment until four-star defensive tackle Peyton Newell announced his plans for Nebraska last Friday. The highest ranked commit in Bo Pelini’s class and the second four-star, Newell’s commitment pushed the Huskers up to No. 44 in the 247Sports national recruiting rankings.
What’s on tap?
Nebraska will host three targets on official visits this weekend for the Southern Miss game.
-Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas running back Madre London takes the first of three scheduled Big Ten officials to Nebraska. The Cornhuskers currently have a huge lead on his 247Sports Crystal Ball. He has future trips scheduled with Michigan State (Oct. 11) and Wisconsin (Sept. 21).
-It wouldn’t be surprising if Nebraska scored a pledge from Houston (Texas) Alief Taylor safety Joshua Kalu this weekend. Pelini’s program is considered the favorite for the Lone Star State talent.
-Florida State Top247 tight end commit Mavin Saunders will visit Lincoln this weekend, and he may not be the only prospect committed elsewhere that could be on campus. Stay tuned to Huskers Ilustrated here all week for the latest on who else may visit.
Looking at Nebraska’s schedule, they very well could be 7-0 and ranked very high heading into a Nov. 2 showdown with Northwestern at home. Obviously a start like that could reap serious rewards on the recruiting trail.
Around The Conference
-Wisconsin’s first big recruiting weekend of the fall is also upon us. Sparta (N.J.) Pope John XXIII four-star tight end Ryan Izzo comes to Madison high on the Badgers, Florida State and Virginia Tech among others. According to the 247Sports Crystal Ball, Wisconsin is the favorite to land Jesup (Ga.) Wayne County defensive tackle Jeremy Patterson. He’ll take an official with his teammate, receiver Krenwick Sanders. This weekend the Badgers will try and make a move on South Florida for Brooksville (Fla.) Nature Coast Technical defensive end Rohan Blackwood.
-With Buffalo (N.Y.) Canisius running back Qadree Ollison set to make his college decision on Monday, Penn State may get the last chance to impress. Ollison could visit Happy Valley on Saturday for the Nittany Lions home game against Eastern Michigan. He was at Pittsburgh this past weekend. Wisconsin also remains in the mix but he hasn’t visited Madison just yet.
Top247 offensive tackle Ryan Bates is among the many talented 2015 prospects expected at Penn State on Saturday.
-Iowa landed its first commit in 2015 over the weekend from in-state offensive lineman Jacob Newborg. The West Lyon standout is ranked by the 247Composite as the nation’s No. 26 offensive guard.
-Indiana play host to several 2015 targets on Saturday for the Navy game, including Indianapolis (Ind.) Park Tudor four-star defensive tackle Brandon Tiassum, Carmel (Ind.) High athlete Isaac James and St. Louis (Mo.) St. John Vianney tight end Kyle Markway. All three already hold an offer from the Hoosiers.
Other notable visitors include two of the state of Kentucky’s best in 2015 in quarterback Reese Ryan and Top247 linebacker Emmitt Smith. In-state talents the Hoosiers are evaluating that are expected include defensive end Joey Belden, tight end/linebacker Kyle Schrank and running back James Gilbert.
For a complete list of who’s expected in Bloomington, click here.
-New Lenox (Ill.) Providence Catholic 2015 four-star receiver/tight end Miles Boykin says he’ll be at this weekend’s Illinois-Cincinnati game in Champaign.