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Big Ten Recruiting Roundup

Penn State has gotten more explosive and athletic over the last couple days.

Top247 ATH DeAndre Thompkins was a big get for Penn State over the weekend.

Bill O’Brien and his staff landed a commitment from Top247 athlete DeAndre Thompkins this past weekend at the spring game, and on Tuesday another four-star in Middletown (Del.) High’s exciting receiver Chris Godwin pulled the trigger for the Nittany Lions.

With six commits in the boat, Penn State climbs to No. 3 in the Big Ten recruiting rankings and move up to No. 17 in the country.

The great thing about Thompkins, Godwin and Fairfax (Va.) High athlete Nick Scott, is that all three give Penn State the versatility to help on both sides of the ball and on special teams, which is key with the lack of scholarships the Nittany Lions currently have to give. Pittsburgh (Pa.) Mount Lebanon receiver Troy Apke also has the ability to flip over and play safety.

Nittany Lions assistant coach Ron Vanderlinden shot up 14 spots to No. 7 in the 247Composite Big Ten Recruiter Rankings for his role in landing Godwin. Charles London and Larry Johnson are currently No. 9 and No. 10.

Another top Penn State target in Rockville (Md.) Gilman’s Troy Vincent is slated to visit Happy Valley on Thursday.

For more Penn State coverage, visit 247Sports affiliate Lions247 here.

Michigan State Making It Happen In Chicago

It was also an exciting weekend at Michigan State, as the Spartans landed two more of their top Chicago-area targets in Brian Allen and Enoch Smith Jr.

A commitment from four-star DL Enoch Smith Jr. kept Michigan State's momentum in Chicago going on Saturday.

The 6-foot-2, 287-pound Allen’s commitment to the Spartans was expected, and the Hinsdale (Ill.) Central standout pulled the trigger early into his Saturday visit for the Michigan State spring game. The younger brother of Michigan State’s starting center Jack Allen, he chose the Spartans over several offers including his other two finalists Ole Miss and Iowa.

Ranked by the 247Composite as the nation’s No. 3 center, Allen is a tenacious football player that attacks defensive linemen. His athleticism is apparent right away, and we’re talking about a state champion in wrestling as well. Mark Dantonio’s teams are known for playing a tough, physical brand of football, and Allen falls right in line with that.

While Michigan State nation was hopeful to land Allen, Smith’s pledge came as a pleasant surprise.

The Spartans were in the top two for Smith along with Illinois, and this return visit to campus sealed the deal for the four-star out of Chicago (Ill.) Mount Carmel. The 6-foot-2, 270-pound Smith is a winner. In helping his team earn a state championship in the fall, he was disruptive to the tune of 23 tackles for loss.

With Allen and Smith Jr. in the fold, Michigan State’s current six-player class ranks fourth in the Big Ten and No. 19 in the country. Assistant coach Mark Staten moved up to No. 5 in the Big Ten conference recruiter rankings for his role in landing Allen, and Pat Narduzzi jumped up to No. 8 for his job in bringing in Smith.

Already in the fold from the Windy City area was Saint Charles (Ill.) North offensive tackle Chase Gianacakos. Elsewhere around Chicago, the Spartans are in the top-two along with Pittsburgh for Niles (Ill.) Notre Dame running back Chris James. Touted offensive tackle Jamarco Jones of Chicago (Ill.) De La Salle and blue-chip linebacker Nyles Morgan of Crete (Ill.) Monee have the Spartans in their lead group. Michigan State is in excellent position for Chicago (Ill.) St. Rita defensive back Lamar Dawson following a recent visit and offer, and Morgan’s teammate in defensive end Chris Slayton is also feeling the Spartans early in the process. Dawson’s teammate in athlete Tommy Mister was just offered by Michigan State on Tuesday. He currently favors Iowa State but perhaps that could change with the Spartans now in the picture.

For more Michigan State coverage, visit 247Sports affiliate SpartanTailgate here.

Michigan Makes Prospects Feel At Home

The "sense of family" at Michigan was what reeled in four-star TE Ian Bunting over the weekend.

Michigan is proving to be arguably the best coaching staff in the country in terms of recruiting a prospect while they’re on campus.

Hinsdale (Ill.) Central four-star tight end Ian Bunting was the latest target that left Ann Arbor feeling at home. Bunting and his parents arrived on the Wolverines campus on Saturday after a visit to USC on Friday. They stayed through Sunday and Bunting left his heart behind, committing to Brady Hoke and company on Tuesday.

Notre Dame was the leader for Bunting heading into the weekend and 247Sports had previously reported that he was aiming to make a quick decision after his trips to USC and Michigan. The Wolverines staff made it easy for him.

"I was really liking Notre Dame," Bunting said. "I had a few schools I would consider my top few teams. After going to Michigan it pretty much made it a lot easier of a decision. The sense of family I got when I was there was the best sense of family for any place I've been. The coaches' wives were there. Their kids were there. We got to talk to them a lot. It felt comfortable. It felt right. It felt like the best fit for me."

Bunting’s commitment moved Michigan up to No. 8 in the 247Sports national recruiting rankings, just one spot behind rival Ohio State.

For more Michigan coverage, visit 247Sports affiliate Wolverine247 here.

Around The League

-The Iowa spring game is this weekend and the Hawkeyes have several exciting prospects expected to come to Iowa City led by a pair of standout 2015s in St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham Hall defensive end Jashon Cornell and Cincinnati (Ohio) St. Xavier linebacker Justin Hilliard. Both hold early offers from the Hawkeyes. Cornell has already emerged as a national recruit and Hilliard is close behind. Hilliard's older brother CJ Hilliard also has an Iowa offer and the Hawkeyes are strongly in the mix for the productive running back. Offensive line commits Ross Pierschbacher and Lucas LeGrand will also be on campus, with the Top100 Pierschbacher recently picking up an offer from Alabama. For more coverage of Iowa football and recruiting, click here.

-Minnesota will have Top247 running back commit Jeff Jones and four of its top targets on campus for this weekend’s spring game in in-state offensive tackle Frank Ragnow, in-state center JC Hassenauer, Lake Zurich (Ill.) High linebacker Colton Moskal and Kansas City (Mo.) Wyandotte quarterback Dimonic McKinzy. The Gophers are in excellent position for all three prospects. For more coverage of Minnesota football and recruiting, click here.

-247Sports Big Ten Rankings

-247Composite Big Ten Recruiter Rankings

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