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Big Ten Recruiting Roundup

It was a fruitful weekend for Pat Fitzgerald and his coaching staff.

Weekend commitments from Dareian Watkins (pictured) and Tommy Doles has Northwestern sitting on a Top20 class nationally.

Northwestern’s recruiting class moved into the Top20 nationally with Grand Rapids (Mich.) Christian offensive tackle Tommy Doles pulling the trigger for the Wildcats on Friday evening and Galion (Ohio) High Top247 athlete Dareian Watkins announcing his commitment on Monday morning.

Turns out, the 6-foot-2, 192-pound Watkins told the Northwestern staff on Sunday afternoon during his visit that he was in the fold. His parents were high on the Wildcats throughout the recruiting process, however he had Michigan State out in front until this stop in Evanston.

The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Doles chose Northwestern over an offer from Michigan.

With seven commits in the class-of-2014, including three four-stars, Northwestern moves up to No. 19 nationally and No. 4 in the Big Ten. Expect the Wildcats to sign anywhere from 13-15 in this group.

Three other top prospects Northwestern remains in the thick of it for are Carol Stream (Ill.) Glenbard North Top247 running back Justin Jackson, Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic Top247 tight end/defensive end Garrett Dickerson and Plano (Texas) West’s Auston Anderson. The Wildcats are also still fighting for Cincinnati (Ohio) LaSalle Top247 receiver Derek Kief.

For more recruiting coverage regarding Northwestern, visit Northwestern247 here.

Penn State Putting Together Nice Class

Like Northwestern, Penn State is also hot on the recruiting trail.

Touted CB Troy Vincent is high on Penn State.

Coatesville (Pa.) Area cornerback Daquan Worley jumped into the fold on Friday, giving head coach Bill O’Brien and the Nittany Lions their seventh commit in 2014. With Worley’s pledge, Penn State holds the conference’s No. 3 ranked class and the No. 17 class nationally.

Penn State could continue to move up this weekend.

-Upper Marlboro (Md.) Wise safety Marcus Allen is considered a Penn State lean and could be committed by Friday. He is also high on Maryland and Pittsburgh.

-Warren (Mich.) De La Salle linebacker Jared Wangler is visiting Happy Valley this weekend with his father, who has a relationship with Nittany Lions linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden. The younger Wangler also visited Penn State earlier in the spring. Michigan State extended a scholarship to Wangler during his Tuesday visit to East Lansing, making things interesting.

In other Penn State, news, Rockville (Md.) Gilman cornerback Troy Vincent is still very high on the school after his visit the last weekend of April, and Alexandria (Va.) T.C. Williams defensive lineman Jeremiah Clarke named Penn State his leader on Tuesday evening. He has a strong connection with Larry Johnson.

For more recruiting coverage regarding Penn State, visit Lions247 here.

Purdue Gets On The Board

Dallas (Texas) First Baptist Academy’s speedy receiver Trae Hart became commit No. 1 for the Boilermakers in 2014, giving his commitment to Purdue over the weekend.

Texas QB David Blough earned an invite to the Elite 11 National Competition. Purdue is showing the most interest at this point.

Recruited by John Shoop, the 5-foot-10 ½, 155-pound Hart had a huge junior year, using his 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash to catch 108 passes for 2,044 yards and 29 touchdowns. He also returned three kicks and one punt for scores.

Perhaps Hart will be catching touchdown passes from another Lone Star State standout on the next level.

Carrollton (Texas) Creekview quarterback David Blough says his best relationship is with Shoop and Purdue. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Blough is still waiting on his first offer, but it could come soon after tearing up the Elite 11 Regional in Chicago on Friday, earning an invite to the national event to be held at the Nike Facility in Oregon the weekend of June 28.

“I’m in constant contact with Coach Shoop up there at Purdue,” Blough said. “He’s evaluated me a little more and they’re going to make a couple decisions and we’ll see what happens.”

Blough would love to consider a scholarship from the Boilermakers.

“The new offensive coordinator, the head coach, they’re running my kind of offense,” he said. “They have a bunch of NFL experience. The way their coaching their quarterbacks to be the point guard of their offense.”

Other schools showing personal interest in Blough includes Arizona State, Baylor, Rice and North Texas. As a junior he threw for 1,777 yards and 17 touchdowns to just three interceptions.

For more recruiting coverage regarding Purdue, visit 247Sports affiliate The Black Hammer here.

Top247 RB Justin Jackson has Northwestern out in front, but will visit Illinois this weekend.

More Michigan Visitors

Seems like every weekend the Wolverines are hosting top targets in Ann Arbor and that is the case again this weekend.

Clairton (Pa.) Thomas Jefferson outside linebacker Chase Winovich will be making his second visit to Michigan this spring and has the Wolverines in his top two along with Ohio State. He is ranked by the 247Composite as the country’s No. 41 outside linebacker overall.

Southfield (Mich.) High Top247 defensive end Lawrence Marshall will be back on campus, having visited several times in the past. This time he’s riding in with Michigan receiver commit Maurice Ways. Marshall has the Wolverines near the top of his list along with offers from Michigan State and Oklahoma. He is ranked by the 247Composite as the nation’s No. 11 weak-side defensive end.

A top 2015 target in Cleveland (Ohio) Benedictine’s linebacker/running back Jerome Baker will be in town with his father. The Wolverines will very likely offer and move to the top of Baker’s list along with Ohio State and Penn State. He visited Columbus last weekend. Baker may be the state of Ohio’s top prospect in his class.

For more recruiting coverage regarding Michigan, visit Wolverine247 here.

Around The Conference

-Ohio State is quarterback hunting and the three guys in mind are Kyle Allen, Zack Darlington and Brandon Harris. …Allen is ranked as the nation’s No. 5 pro-style passer and he could visit Columbus again this summer. Arizona State, UCLA and Notre Dame are a few other programs he’s high on. …The Buckeyes jump right into the mix for Darlington along with N.C. State, Nebraska, Ole Miss and West Virginia. He checks in as the country’s No. 18 pro-style quarterback. …Ohio State will battle Texas A&M for Harris’s signature. He is the nation’s No. 5 dual-threat quarterback.

-Illinois will host several high school coaches for a clinic on Friday before bringing in Top247 running back Justin Jackson of Carol Stream (Ill.) Glenbard North on Saturday. The Illini also sent out a pair of in-state 2015 offers to local quarterback Jimmy Fitzgerald and La Grange (Ill.) Lyons Township running back Leonard Ross.

-Michigan State has thrown out a flurry of offers in the class-of-2014 and class-of-2015, ranging from Arizona to California, to Florida, to Georgia to Texas. The scholarships are going out at a rate not typical under head coach Mark Dantonio. A recent offer to Rochester (Mich.) Adams tight end Matt Sokol has the Spartans in a good spot to land the in-state prospect.

-A look at the Big Ten Recruiting Rankings here. Michigan and Ohio State are out in front.

-A look at the Big Ten Recruiter Rankings here. Wisconsin's Ben Strickland is in the No. 1 spot.

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