News, notes and buzz from around the Big Ten.
With room for 10 more in 2014, Wisconsin and head coach Gary Andersen could push for a Top10 recruiting class.
Can Wisconsin Catch Michigan On Recruiting Trail?
While Ohio State has basically sealed up the Big Ten’s top-ranked recruiting class for a fourth-straight year, the race for No. 2 has tightened between the Badgers and Wolverines.
Sitting on the nation’s No. 10 class overall, Michigan holds a 236.64 to 201.44 advantage on Wisconsin heading into the stretch run. The Badgers class currently ranks No. 23.
The Wolverines class is nearly done, holding 16 commits, half of them holding four-stars or better. Brady Hoke and his staff are in position to land two to three more, with Top50 defensive lineman Malik McDowell as the biggest fish still on the board.
Wisconsin on the other hand has 20 commits with the opportunity to sign around 30 in 2014. The Badgers latest two pledges came in the last week from running back Caleb Kinlaw, a former Georgia Tech commit and kicker Rafael Gaglianone.
-The top name still in play is five-star running back Joe Mixon, who has Wisconsin in his top three.
-Wisconsin is making a late push for Chanhassen (Minn.) High four-star offensive tackle Frank Ragnow.
Florida WR Natrell Jamerson enjoyed his official to Wisconsin over the weekend.
-The Badgers appear to be close to flipping Northwestern four-star athlete commit Dareian Watkins. He was in Madison over the weekend.
-Top100 receiver Jamil Kamara has Wisconsin in his lead group after a visit earlier this fall.
-Wisconsin hosted four-star cornerback John Plattenburg Jr. on an official earlier this fall.
-The Badgers are a strong contender for sought-after safety Andre Godfrey.
-Wisconsin will host four-star offensive tackle Kolton Miller in a couple weeks.
-The nation’s No. 7 JUCO Keishawn Richardson could be Madison bound after his official two weekends ago.
-Receiver Natrell Jamerson took his official visit this past weekend and Wisconsin has moved into the driver’s seat.
-The nation’s No. 4 JUCO all-purpose back Serge Trezy will also visit Wisconsin next weekend.
JUCO WR Robert Lockhart committed to Nebraska on Saturday.
-Florida safety D’Cota Dixon will take his official visit to Madison next weekend as well.
Nebraska Climbs Two Spots
The Cornhuskers picked up two commits on Saturday morning, from linebacker Jaevon Walton and JUCO receiver Robert Lockhart, giving Nebraska 15 pledges in 2014, and moving Bo Pelini’s crop up two spots to No. 6 in the Big Ten recruiting rankings.
Nebraska will battle Michigan State and Penn State for what is likely going to be 4-6 in the final Big Ten rankings.
Colorado safety commit Chance Walz could be the next in the fold following his official visit to Lincoln this past weekend.
Nebraska has room for roughly eight more commits and remain in good shape with several of its offered targets.
Top100 OT Brian Wallace heads to Iowa this weekend.
Minnesota Leads The Way On A Strong Weekend Of Visitors
There are six conference home games this week and lots of top prospects for each program heading to schools around the league.
-The Gophers will try and end the run of recent dominance Wisconsin has held in the rivalry in front of nine official visitors this Saturday. Quarterback commit Dimonic McKinzy will have his recruiting hat on as he tries to lure JUCO linebackers Christian Russell and Cody Poock to town, along with running back J’vonte Herrod, safety Khari Blasingame, running back Deron Thompson, defensive end Julien Kafo, safety James Folston and running back Rodney Smith. Russell, Herrod, Blasingame, Thompson and Kafo are all considered Minnesota leans. Uncommitted in-state four-star offensive tackle Frank Ragnow says he may be back on campus.
-Iowa will have Top100 offensive tackle Brian Wallace on campus and will be in good position to land a commitment from former Rutgers quarterback pledge Tyler Wiegers. The Hawkeyes are working to get fast-rising senior and recently offered offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor on campus for the first time and class-of-2015 quarterback Jack Beneventi will also be in Iowa City.
-Penn State quarterback commit Michael O’Connor heads to Happy Valley this weekend. Joining him are JUCO prospects in four-star defensive tackle Tarow Barney and offensive guard Kareem Are. Safety Shawn Boone will be in as the Nittany Lions look to make a move on N.C. State.
-The nation’s No. 2 JUCO offensive tackle and No. 5 prospect overall in Chad Mavety is a coveted prospect by Urban Meyer and his staff, and the blue-chipper will be in Columbus for his official visit.
-Local talent in Top247 cornerback Parrker Westphal returns to Evanston to check out Northwestern. He plans to return again for an official in December. Recently offered Top247 2015 linebacker Darrin Kirkland Jr. will make his first visit to see the Wildcats program.
-A pair of JUCO targets in tight end Blake Whiteley and offensive tackle David Hedelin head to West Lafayette to see Purdue. Recently offered linebacker Robert Spillane is expected to take an unofficial visit.