When it comes to out-of-state recruiting, Big Ten programs are scattered across America looking to grab a foothold in different parts of the country.
Five-star ATH Jabrill Peppers and his Paramus Catholic teammate Juwann Bushell-Beatty are two of the many New Jersey targets Michigan has offered in 2014.
247Sports takes a look at what states or areas will prove key to each Big Ten school in the 2014 class.
The State Of Ohio – Illinois head coach Tim Beckman and his staff have been hitting the Buckeye State hard since coming over from Toledo prior to the 2012 season, sending out early scholarship offers in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 classes. The Illini inked five players from Ohio in 2013 led by athlete Caleb Day and a pair of overlooked offensive linemen in Christian DiLauro and Austin Schmidt, who enrolled early and are already developing nicely in the school’s strength and conditioning program. In 2014, Illinois already has one in the boat from Ohio in Dayton Centerville defensive tackle Tito Odenigbo. The state of Ohio is the most fertile land in Big Ten country so it’s key for every program, but no conference school has offered more players from the state than the Illini.
Chicago – It’s a big recruiting year in the Windy City and the Hoosiers have scholarships out to nearly every Division-I talent in the area. As the Hoosiers continue to take steps toward Big Ten relevance, the program will have to become more and more relevant in Chicago. A few of the top players considering Indiana in 2014 include running backs Matt Domer and Chris James and outside linebacker Nile Sykes.
As Iowa hits the state of Missouri and St. Louis hard in 2014, Missouri RB commit Markel Smith is one they're working to flip.
The State Of Missouri and the St. Louis Area – Iowa has not sent out many scholarship offers in 2014, but a few of the Hawkeyes top prospects hail from the St. Louis area. Top247 defensive end Dewayne Hendrix from O’Fallon (Ill.) High could be a game-changer type recruit for the Hawkeyes. Missouri running back commit Markel Smith of St. Louis (Mo.) St. John Vianney is a target the Iowa coaching staff is working to flip. Offensive tackles Roderick Johnson of Florissant (Mo.) Hazelwood Central and Brian Wallace of St. Louis (Mo.) Christian Brothers College are two of the top offensive linemen on the board. Lee’s Summit (Mo.) Sr. outside linebacker Jimmie Swain would be a nice get for Kirk Ferentz and company.
The State Of New Jersey – The obvious pick would have been Ohio and the Wolverines are no question a thorn in the side of rival Ohio State and any other program trying to recruit the Buckeye State, however Michigan also has a chance to make a lot of hay in New Jersey this year. Paramus (N.J.) Catholic five-star athlete Jabrill Peppers and his Top247 offensive tackle teammate Juwann Bushell-Beatty both visit in early April and have the Wolverines high on their list. Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic Top247 tight end Garrett Dickerson is another top target and visited during the fall, while highly-sought after athletes Kiy Hester and Juwann Winfree and receiver Saeed Blacknall are talents Brady Hoke and his staff are pursuing.
The State Of Ohio – Year in and year out, Michigan State battles for the more touted players in Ohio and fill up the depth chart with prospects from the state. The 2014 recruiting cycle is no different with some of the top targets include Top247 offensive tackle Nick Richardson, Top247 athlete Dareian Watkins, a pair of four-star quarterbacks in Chris Durkin and DeShone Kizer, Cincinnati Winton Woods defensive tackle Daniel Cage, running back/defensive back Vayante Copeland and offensive tackle Alex Dalton. Mark Dantonio and his staff are in a strong position for all of these prospects, and these are the type of athletes that helped Michigan State win 11 games in 2010 and 2011.
Texas WR Byron Daniels is a player both Minnesota and Nebraska would love to have.
The State Of Texas – There is enough football talent in the state of Texas to go around and Minnesota has been tapping into the Lone Star State for years and that’s not any different in this year’s class. The Gophers are among the leaders for center Connor Mayes and receiver Garrett Gray and they’re also targeting receiver Byron Daniels. Look for several more names to pop up on the board.
The State of Texas – The Cornhuskers have traditionally done well recruiting Texas, however over the last two years Nebraska has signed just five prospects from Texas. In 2014, head coach Bo Pelini and his assistants are eyeing several targets that hail from the Lone Star State including outside linebacker Edwin Freeman, safety Brandon Simmons, receivers T.V. Williams and Byron Daniels and outside linebacker T’Kevian Rockwell.
The State Of Texas – Northwestern has been really active in Texas in 2014, already landing one of the state’ top prospects in four-star safety Jordan Thomas. The Wildcats have several offers out in the state and have a chance to land the likes of defensive end Joshua Malin, receiver Verkedric Vaughns and running back Auston Anderson. Coming off a 10 win season and a bowl win, Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald and his staff have a lot to sell in the state of Texas.
Penn State already has two commits from The DMV and touted safety Marcus Allen is another the Nittany Lions staff has eyes for.
The State Of Georgia – Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes are recruiting nationally, and in the 2014 recruiting cycle, the Ohio State coaching staff has its eyes set on cleaning up in the Peach State. Five-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan has the Buckeyes at the top of his list. Clemson quarterback commit Deshaun Watson is the top signal-caller on the board, and he’s listening and paying attention to what Meyer and his assistants have to say. Receiver Demarre Kitt is another with Ohio State among his leaders and linebacker Kevin Mouhon, safety Nick Glass, running back Nick Chubb, offensive tackle Orlando Brown and big-time defensive tackle Elisha Shaw are also targets.
The DMV, The D.C., Maryland Virginia Metro Area – Penn State has already scored two from the region in Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha running back Mark Allen and Fairfax (Va.) High athlete Nick Scott. Nittany Lions assistant coach Larry Johnson has a foothold in the area and has Penn State in on a few more of the top athletes in the region in defensive end Jeremiah Clarke and safety Marcus Allen. Another major Penn State target in cornerback Troy Vincent lives in the Baltimore area and plays at Gilman but he trains with Allen in the D.C. area.
The State Of Florida – Purdue hit the Sunshine State hot and heavy under previous head coach Danny Hope and don’t expect that to change under the new regime with Darrell Hazell at the helm. The Boilermakers already have a lot of offers out in Florida and have the momentum under successful first-year coach in Hazell to go down there and continue to pluck talent away from other BCS programs.
Chicago – New head coach Gary Andersen and the Badgers are pursuing all of the Chicago-area blue chippers, and many have already visited the Madison campus. Top50 offensive tackle Jamarco Jones is talking about making it back up again next week. Hinsdale (Ill.) Central teammates Ian Bunting and Brian Allen were at Wisconsin a couple weeks ago. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Badgers target a few more from the Chicagoland before this recruiting cycle is complete.