Jim Harbaugh to be Featured at Satellite Camp in Ohio

May 4, 2016 by  
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Yes, in Ohio.

The victory lap continues for Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh.

With the NCAA overturning a previous satellite camp ban, Harbaugh has organized a camp in Georgia with UGA coach Kirby Smart, and will now be featured at a camp in Ohio:

While the SEC cried foul over Harbaugh's earlier satellite camp plans in the south, working a camp in northeast Ohio is also pretty interesting.

It should be noted Warren G. Harding High is almost 200 miles from Ohio State's campus, but I'm sure there are plenty of OSU fans who won't be thrilled about it.

Harding head coach Steve Arnold told the Cleveland Plain Dealer his loyalty is to his own players rather than any university:

"I'm not aiding Michigan or helping Michigan recruit in the area," Arnold told cleveland.com Wednesday afternoon. "They are having camps all across the country, so I'm not helping anything."

"It's not about Ohio State and Michigan. For me, it's about the exposure and our high school and our kids. That's what this is about. Other people may look at it like that, but that's on them."

We'll see how Urban Meyer reacts.

John Beilein Announces Billy Donlon, Saddi Washington as Coaching Staff Hires

May 4, 2016 by  
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John Beilein and the Wolverines have filled their assistant coaching vacancies.

Michigan Basketball has hired Billy Donlon and Saddi Washington to fill its two assistant coaching vacancies, the program announced on Wednesday afternoon. The news was first reported by ESPN's Jeff Goodman earlier in the day.

Beilein had this to say in the statement released:

"We are forever grateful for the fine work that LaVall Jordan and Bacari Alexander brought to our program over the past six years," said Beilein. "Their departures, however, have opened up a great opportunity for our staff to grow. Billy Donlon and Saddi Washington are exactly who I felt we needed to be able to continue our success and compete for more Big Ten championships.

"I have known Billy for almost two decades, and I love his passion and IQ for the game. He has tremendous experience as a player, assistant and head coach at the Division I level. Improving our defense is a huge goal for us, and defense is one of Billy's specialties. He is also excellent in skill development, and that has been a key to our success at Michigan. I am excited to have Billy join our staff, the athletics department and this University.

"Saddi and I have known each other since his days at Western Michigan when I coached against them. We have also talked a lot of basketball in my nine years here at Michigan. Saddi is an outstanding teacher of the game, and I love that he can coach multiple positions. He has established great relationships as a recruiter both in and out of the state of Michigan. His poise and presence remind me of LaVall, and I know he will be a great asset to our program."

Donlon joins the staff after spending the last 10 years at Wright State, the last six of which were spent as head coach. He was also an assistant at UNC Wilmington from 2002-06.

Washington spent the last decade as a member of Greg Kampe's coaching staff at Oakland, where he was the associate head coach the last three seasons.

Both men replaced LaVall Jordan and Bacari Alexander, who left the program last month for head coaching vacancies at Milwaukee and Detroit, respectively.

This story is developing.

Film Room: Michigan Football ’17 Commit LB Ben Mason

May 4, 2016 by  
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Taking a look at the latest Michigan verbal's film.

Michigan picked up a commitment from 3* CT LB Ben Mason on Tuesday afternoon, which came as a surprise to hardly anyone. After his visit to Ann Arbor last month, crystal balls pegging Mason to Michigan came flooding in. Mason had offers from some solid football programs including Cal, Pittsburgh and Wisconsin, and offers from prestigious academic programs like Columbia, Yale, Dartmouth, Duke, and Harvard. Mason also held scholarship offers from two of the service academies. Boston College offered Mason at linebacker while Don Brown was there, and it comes as no surprised the Michigan DC offered him again at Michigan.

Throwback is a word that I have seen everywhere when it comes to scouting Mason, and when you watch the film, you will see why. On defense, Mason is a thumper. He fills up run lanes quickly and violently. He does a great job of diagnosing plays and rarely false-steps, which can cause a lot of problems for young linebackers. There are a few times where Mason does a fantastic job of reading the quarterback and dropping into the passing lane, causing a turnover. Many of those were returned for touchdowns.

On offense, Mason is all over the field, as he lines up at a traditional in-line tight end spot, more of an H-back position, like Henry Poggi does for Michigan currently, running back, and at quarterback in a wildcat-like formation. He was even split out wide on a play or two, but that looked like it was in a scrimmage. He does a great job of blocking from all of these positions, and runs the ball very well. He does a solid job of reading his blocks and finding the running lanes.

Mason relies on fundamentals and instinct more than high-end athleticism, and that’s evident in his film. His athleticism is good for a high school player, but probably a little average as it concerns FBS power-5 linebackers. He ran a 4.88 laser-timed 40 yard dash, but his straight line speed isn’t why he is being recruited. His ability to diagnose run plays and get into the backfield is what caught Don Brown’s eye, and he does a great job of that, coming from a football family.

As far as what happens when he steps on campus in 2017, Mason is a lot like Michigan commit Chase Lasater with regards to both of them being able to play linebacker or fullback. I think Mason will be given the opportunity to play linebacker, but has a good chance to end up at fullback. And at 6’2.5" & 250 pounds, he could certainly move to defensive end a couple years into his career at Michigan after adding weight.

Mason should be able to come to Ann Arbor in 2017 and compete for playing time at fullback immediately, as there will not be many fullbacks or H-backs on the roster. If he plays linebacker, I think it would be a safe bet that Mason redshirts and plays more in 2018. Or he could play special teams as a true freshman, as we have seen Jim Harbaugh is not afraid to play freshman early on if they are good enough.

I think Mason is a good player with a solid offer sheet, and someone that we can expect to be a solid contributor at Michigan after his redshirt freshman/sophomore season. I do think it is more likely that he redshirts, especially if he ends up playing linebacker. But, with Jim Harbaugh at the helm, you never know what he's going to do.

Wednesday Michigan Recruiting Roundup: 2017 3* ILB Commits to Michigan

May 4, 2016 by  
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In this edition, have a look at which athletes included the Wolverines in their top lists, read about Michigan's newest offers, and more.

2017 3* ILB Commits to Michigan

Per Clint Brewster of Wolverine247 (FREE), Michigan has grabbed a commit in 2017 three-star inside linebacker Ben Mason (CT). Mason is the fourth-ranked athlete in the state of Connecticut. With this commitment, the Wolverines currently sit at No. 7 in terms of 2017 recruiting classes, per 247Sports.

Have a look at his junior season highlights here, via Hudl:

2017 3* OT to Visit Michigan Wednesday

According to Steve Lorenz of Wolverine247 ($), Michigan will play host to 2017 three-star offensive tackle Alex Forsyth (OR) on Wednesday. This will be an unofficial visit for Forsyth.

Forsyth holds several offers from other programs, including Oregon, where he is favored to attend, USC, and Arizona, among others. Per the 247Composite, he is the fifth-ranked athlete in the state of Oregon in the 2017 cycle.

Michigan Lands in Top 12 for 2017 4* OT

Per Tim Sullivan of Rivals (FREE) and his Twitter feed over the weekend, the Wolverines have cracked the top 12 for 2017 four-star offensive tackle Adrian Ealy (LA). Also included in the list are Auburn, Texas, LSU, and others.

Per the article, Ealy will cut his list to five in the near future. He has yet to pay a visit to Ann Arbor.

2017 4* DE Includes Wolverines in Top List

Per the athlete's Twitter page on Monday, Michigan has cracked the top 12 for 2017 four-star defensive end LaBryan Ray (AL). Michigan was the only Big Ten school to make the list for Ray.

Per the 247Composite, Ray is the fourth-ranked overall recruit from the state of Alabama and 94th overall in the nation. His Crystal Ball is currently in favor of Alabama.

Wolverines Extend Offer to USC Commit

Per Steve Lorenz of Wolverine247 (FREE), Michigan has offered 2018 four-star outside linebacker and USC commit Raymond Scott (CA). Scott has been committed to the Trojans for a few weeks now. Wolverines offensive line coach Tim Drevno extended the offer to Scott.

He currently sits as the No. 5 overall athlete in the state of California for 2018.

Have a look at his sophomore season highlights here, per Hudl:

Michigan Offers Top-Ranked 2018 OG

According to his Twitter page on Monday afternoon, the Wolverines have extended a scholarship offer to 2018 four-star offensive guard Jamaree Salyer (GA). Have a look at the tweet the athlete sent out:

Salyer is the top-ranked OG in the 2018 class. Although it is still early on in the recruiting process for the athlete, he already boasts several offers including Georgia, Alabama, and Clemson.

Report: Michigan Forward Kameron Chatman Considering Transfer

May 3, 2016 by  
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An off-season of departures continues for the Wolverines.

Michigan Basketball could be set to lose another piece this off-season.

Forward Kameron Chatman, who would be a junior this upcoming season, is reportedly set to transfer away from Ann Arbor barring a change at the last minute, according to ESPN's Jeff Goodman.

If Chatman decides to transfer, it will be the fourth Michigan player to depart for greener pastures this off-season. Aubrey Dawkins, Ricky Doyle and Spike Albrecht. The Wolverines also must replace a pair of assistant coaches after LaVall Jordan and Bacari Alexander left for head coaching jobs at Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Detroit Mercy, respectively.

Chatman is a former four-star recruit in the class of 2014 and would be the fourth member of that recruiting cycle not not finish his career on the roster, joining Dawkins, Doyle and Austin Hatch, who took a medical redshirt at the end of last season.

Former Michigan Basketball Player Spike Albrecht Will Transfer to Purdue

May 3, 2016 by  
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For the second-straight year, a fifth-year senior leaves for the state of Indiana.

Spike Albrecht may have been a fan favorite with the Michigan Wolverines, but he'll be finishing his college career with the Purdue Boilermakers.

Albrecht follows in the footsteps of former UM center Max Bielfeldt, who transferred to Indiana last season.

Here are Michigan Coach John Beilein's comments on the matter per the Detroit Free Press:

"Anytime you have to play those guys (the next season), it's very awkward," Beilein said Monday night at the Ufer Quarterback Club dinner, where Albrecht was to receive an award. "You just do the best you can with it. That's another discussion for some other time. It is awkward for us, but that's the wave of it today, that kids are going to be able to transfer to a lot of different places... If that's what the NCAA and ADs and presidents think, then we go by it."

Because Albrecht is a graduate transfer, he'll be playing against his old team next year without having to sit out a season. Beilein at first tried to keep Albrecht and Ricky Doyle from going to any schools on the Wolverines schedule, but those types of restrictions are increasingly becoming a thing of the past.

On the flip side, Albrecht has said he wanted to stay at Michigan, but Beilein reportedly said that Michigan didn't need "three quarterbacks" on the team. The 5-10 point guard will try and get more playing time with the move back to his home state.

Tuesday Morning Brews: Draft Fallout

May 3, 2016 by  
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If you're not a draft enthusiast, it's been a quiet week.

Hitting the Links Created Bitcoin

2017 Draft Will See Plenty of Wolverines In The Early Rounds

Of course, for Michigan fans, the 2017 draft is worth the wait. There's some business to clean up in the 2016 season first.

Jake Rudock Brushes Off Comparisons To Tom Brady

Fun fact: Rudock was 15-10 at Iowa, and 10-3 at Michigan.

Illinois Satellite Camps: Chicago, St. Louis, Tampa, Dallas

Ohio State will also be running a satellite camp in conjunction with Alabama, USC, and TCU (which is hosting). This is about to get fun.

If you want to look ahead at recruiting a little closer to home, Eleven Warriors has you covered with a look at Ohio's 2018 talent - the class Michigan has been experiencing success in.

Oh, also, best of luck to the #196 pick (6th round) in the NFL draft:

Meanwhile, the Lions picked up Anthony Zettel, and Jordan Howard will be going to the Bears. Minnesota's Eric Murray and De'Vondre Campbell were picked in the fourth round by Kansas City and Atlanta, respectively.

Three fullbacks did manage to get drafted, and all of them were Big Ten guys - Andy Janovich at #176 (Denver Broncos), Dan Vitale at #197 (Tampa Bay), and Derek Watt at #198 (San Diego Chargers). Sione Houma was also part of a slew of UDFA signings by the Saints, which included Jack Allen and Wisconsin DB Mike Caputo.

The Character Concerns of Connor Cook

I doubt that Cook is a leader. But I also believe he is a stubborn, competitive pain in the ass who will work his tail off every day of the week, and this dose of disrespekt will motivate him. We'll see.

Cardale Celebrates Being DraftedIntroducing Eli Apple's Mom, Annie

A couple heart-warming links about Buckeyes. Strange, I know.

Minnesota AD Search Continues

Here's an update on the vacancy left by Norwood Teague.

Rutgers Kicks Off Weight Room Renovations

Finances and the state of campus have been important topics for RU fans in their first years in the Big Ten. Those points of concern are looking improved.

Illinois Is Exploring Getting A Mascot

I'd like to use this platform to recommend sloths. Sloths are popular now, and they're great swimmers. It'll be a great option.

Joshua Kaindoh's Misdirection Prank

No comment on that one.

Draft Takeaways: Big Ten Is Closing The Talent Gap

This promises to create more exciting games, bolster the rivalries, and keep players sharp. Simply, yes. Sign me up.

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Monday Michigan Recruiting Roundup: Dillon Dazzles at SPARQ Combine

May 2, 2016 by  
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Big weekend for former and future Wolverines.

The NFL Draft has come and past the Wolverines have continued their streak of consecutive years with a player drafted, which now reaches back into the 1930s. We also would like to extend our congratulations to all the Wolverines who graduated this past weekend, as well.

AJ DIllion Had Himself a Day

A couple of future Wolverines had big weekends. AJ Dillion, a running back out of Massachusetts, won the rating MVP at the New Jersey SPARQ Combine and will be headed to the opening in Oregon this summer. Dillion's performance only confirmed what we had thought about him in that he's got a very high ceiling. Dillion displays amazing balance and vision as a ball carrier and has the ability to finish runs by falling forward or beating defenders to the end-zone.

St-Juste Does Well, Too

The other future Wolverine who had himself a big weekend was Benjamin St-Juste from north of the border. The Montreal native also tested high at the SPARQ combine landing himself in the high 110s not far off of AJ Dillion's pace. St. Juste is 6'3" 180 and ran a sub 4 in the agility shuttle. That is a great display of short area quickness and agility for a guy his size. On top of the athleticism displayed he still has time to fill out his frame.

A Busy Tuesday on the Way

Tuesday will be a big day for the Wolverines as well. 2017 Flint Southwestern DE Deron Irving-Bey will be on campus visiting Ann Arbor. Michigan will also learn if the top prospect out of Connecticut will pledge to the Wolverines. Michigan is competing with California, Boston College, Wisconsin, Navy and Harvard. Ben Mason can be a very solid addition to the linebacking corps if he commits. So we will be watching closely. Take a look at his highlights here:

Michigan Football to Play Two Road Night Games in 2016

May 2, 2016 by  
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The Wolverines will play in primetime at Rutgers and Iowa this upcoming season.

Michigan Football will play a pair of primetime road games in conference this upcoming season, the Big Ten Conference announced on Monday morning.

The Wolverines' road opener at Rutgers on Oct. 8 will kick off at either 7 or 8 p.m. ET. It will be the second time Michigan plays in New Brunswick, New Jersey with the first coming in a Scarlet Knight victory in 2014.

Michigan will also play at the Big Ten West Division champion Iowa Hawkeyes on Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. ET. Iowa won the last primetime matchup at Kinnick Stadium was in 2009, where the Hawkeyes won 30-28.

The television network that picks up these games will be either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.

Here is the list of seven primetime games that ESPN and its networks plan to show in the Big Ten conference this season:

Oct. 8 – Michigan at Rutgers, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, 7 or 8 p.m. EDT

Oct. 15 – Ohio State at Wisconsin, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, 8 p.m. EDT

Oct. 22 – Ohio State at Penn State, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, 8 p.m. EDT

Oct. 29 – Nebraska at Wisconsin, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, 7 or 8 or 9 p.m. EDT

Oct. 29 – Northwestern at Ohio State, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, 5:30 p.m. EDT

Nov. 5 – Nebraska at Ohio State, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, 8 p.m. EST

Nov. 12 – Michigan at Iowa, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, 8 p.m. EST

Big Ten Recruiting Rankings: Knocking On Michigan’s Door

May 2, 2016 by  
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The rest of the Big Ten has been busy.

#14. Purdue Boilermakers (ã: #14) (?)

Here's a fun fact: the #1 quarterback in the 2017 class, Hunter Johnson, lives just about an hour away from West Lafayette. (In fact, if Johnson hadn't transferred to Brownsburg High, he actually would have been competing with Brandon Peters for a starting spot at Avon.) Purdue, of course, has been called the cradle of quarterbacks. In an alternate universe, the Boilermakers could have had a very exciting class right now.

But no matter how much I could praise Griffin Alstott's dual-threat athleticism, Purdue's one commit hasn't produced a Shane Morris-style resurgence or even, really, a pulse in this recruiting cycle. It is shaping up to be another year of adding mostly MAC-level talent to the roster, barring something dramatic.

#13. Minnesota Golden Gophers (ã: #12)

If you like linemen, there are two good ones committed to Minnesota: Eric Abojei is a 6'4", 310-pound guy who, if he's smart, has signed up for summer dance classes to help refine his athleticism, and Blaise Andries, a 6'6", 290-pounder who, if he's smart, is auditioning to be a bodyguard for Keanu Reeves. (Translation: he's a bad-ass dude.) Abojei and Andries are currently the only commits for the Gophers.

We'll see what kind of speed Minnesota adds to supplement the big bodies, but it's worth noting that Minnesota is one of the favorites to land cornerback speedster Demetrius Douglas out of Portland, Oregon.

#12. Indiana Hoosiers (ã: #9)

Really bad news for Indiana this week - Lynn Bowden, proclaimed by this guy to be the face of the class, has opened up his commitment due to "unforeseen circumstances." This drops Indiana's class down to three. Best of luck to Bowden figuring things out; Kevin Wilson, meanwhile, will be trying to add some athletic defenders like R.J. Potts or Noah Jones.

#11. Illinois Fighting Illini (ã: #11)

Lovie Smith hasn't found the kind of 'momentum' that would make for good headlines, but his four prospects are sturdy, underrated types that give more depth to the offensive playmaking.

Mike Epstein RB 6'0", 185 Missed junior year due to injury
Ryan O'Malley DT 6'4", 251 Staunch in run defense but also fast and flexible
Ricky Smalling WR 6'0", 185 Great combination of speed and physicality
Kendall Smith WR 6'2", 170 Good speed, long frame, twitchy change of direction

All of these guys are three-stars, but Smalling has drawn offers from Wisconsin and Michigan State, among others. From a Michigan fan's perspective, Smalling would be effective (and fun to watch) as a blocker/slot receiver in a Jim Harbaugh offense, but he'll probably end up outside for Illinois.

#10. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (ã: #13)

Rutgers' 2017 class has blown up in size, and they've made a definitive statement about New Jersey: every single one of their seven commits are from the home state. This includes Johnathan Lewis, a 6'3", 205-pound dual-threat quarterback out of Jersey City. He's an intriguing weapon for the offense they want to run.

However, I also want to draw attention to the big guys, OT Micah Clark and OG Jamaal Beaty. Clark is the higher rated of the two, but Beaty will be important as a guy who's capable of playing smash-mouth ball on the inside. Solidifying the trenches will be pivotal for Chris Ash if he wants to win more Big Ten games than his predecessor. (Kyle Flood won four.)

Also important to note: Clark has not exactly shut down his recruitment, and Michigan is one of the teams in the hunt.

#9. Wisconsin Badgers (ã: #8)

Still not a lot of love for Wisconsin in these rankings, despite the nine commitments. To be clear, this is a very solid group of players - it's essentially a prototype Wisconsin class - but there isn't enough speed and a lot of these guys are projects that will require the right scheme and good coaching to be effective.

Take, for example, Kayden Lyles. He's a big, strong dude at 6'3", 290 pounds, but his body simply doesn't have the quickness to keep up with and fend off opposing defensive linemen. So, he either has to play in a phone booth (which Wisconsin often does) or switch over to defense and try to make the field as a run-stuffing defensive tackle. As a nose tackle, I like his potential a lot - in fact I've been waiting and hoping for Wisconsin to get a dominant interior D-lineman for a while - but this kind of potential-despite-barely-enough-speed is a common feature with this class. If Paul Chryst can land a blue-chip running back or a bona fide stud receiver, the Badgers would be in much better shape, in my opinion.

Credit: Mark Hoffman, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel along with USA Today

I should also point out that the most recent commit, Izayah Green-May, does bring the juice on the defensive side of the ball. Green-May is a 6'6", 205-pound defensive end who almost looks like a basketball player in pads. He's a great athlete with the length to pass rush, cover and take on blocks. With the right coaching he can be a very, very good player - possibly at defensive end, possibly at linebacker.

#8. Nebraska Cornhuskers (ã: #7)

Since we last ranked the Huskers, Mike Riley has earned pledges from DT Deontre Thomas (a Michigan target), TE Austin Allen, OT Brenden Jaimes, and linebacker Avery Roberts, bringing his total up to eight. Of these, the one worth immediate recognition is Roberts, who's both a missile and a cold-hearted general for his defense. Deontre Thomas is another talented commit, a big guy with enough quickness to cause problems.

Neither Brenden Jaimes nor Austin Allen bring a lot of speed to the table, but Allen is intriguing (and potentially un-guardable) as a 6'8" tight end with great hands.

#7. Maryland Terrapins (ã: #10)

Joshua Kaindoh committed to Maryland this weekend, and that's a big deal. Even more crazy, another five-star defensive end is strongly considering the Terps as well. D.J. Durkin is going mano-a-mano with Urban Meyer for that commitment.

Highlights: Jordan McNair, Ayinde Eley

But it's not just Kaindoh & The Somebodies. Jordan McNair is brilliant at offensive tackle. Quarterback Kasim Hill is technically polished and could see the field right away. Ayinde Eley is the kind of weaponized linebacker that D.J. Durkin can plan his defenses around. All seven of these guys carry their weight.

Under Durkin, Will Likely will try to earn back-to-back All-American honors. Credit: Matthew Holst, Getty Images

#6. Michigan State Spartans (ã: #5)

The Spartans have remained in good shape, adding RB Weston Bridges, RB Darien Clemons, and OG Matt Carrick in the last few weeks. Bridges is a star in the making for a team that didn't need one. Clemons is another guy with terrific speed, and Carrick is a svelte 270-pound guard who moves like an athlete - something that bodes well for his effectiveness as he continues to add weight.

Going forward, I'll want to see who Michigan State adds on the defensive line. All eight of Mark Dantonio's commits right now are on the offensive side of the ball; however, the linebackers and secondary are well-stocked with young talent. Dantonio will also be looking around for another offensive lineman, and he's currently in the hunt for Robert Hainsey, an offensive guard at IMG Academy who is considering Michigan, MSU, Penn State and Notre Dame.

L.J. Scott is a terrifying, terrifying man. Credit: Mike Carter, USA Today

#5. Penn State Nittany Lions (ã: #6)

According to the 247Sports Composite, the only Big Ten club with as many blue-chip prospects as Penn State is the Buckeyes. Penn State has four (eight overall). Ohio State has ten (thirteen overall). Still, while Penn State isn't recruiting at a nationally dominant level (they rank fifteenth in the country in the composite rankings, and haven't landed in the top ten since 2006), James Franklin has to be happy with who he has gotten so far. Throw out the star rankings, throw out the total number of pledges - Penn State's commits are a cut above a large majority of the rest of the Big Ten.

Highlights: C.J. Thorpe

This includes the position that has lately defined Penn State - the offensive line. Since mid-April the Lions have added three very good prospects, led by the 6'3", 318-pound C.J. Thorpe. The Nittany Lions have taken four offensive linemen every year since 2013.

#4. Northwestern Wildcats (ã: #4)

Not a whole lot has changed for the Wildcats, though the highlight in the last few weeks was snagging pro-style quarterback Andrew Marty out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Marty has a big arm and makes good decisions on the football field. Interestingly, this marks the second straight year that Fitzgerald has taken a pro-style quarterback. Meanwhile, another recent commit, Peter McIntyre, Jr., is also a good pick-up - he's a stud at both wide receiver and linebacker.

All twelve of these commits might be of the three-star variety, but this is a deep group of fast, skilled players. Depth is an underrated part of winning, and Fitz's roster has more of it right now than the rest of the Big Ten West.

#3. Iowa Hawkeyes (ã: #3)

Iowa has added just enough in the last few weeks to maintain its spot in the rankings - a speedster in RB Eno Benjamin and an underrated terror in DE Levi Duwa, pulling their total number of pledges up to ten. Half the class is in-state talent, but Kirk Ferentz hasn't been afraid to reach into Illinois and Texas to get guys like A.J. Epenesa, Ivory Kelly-Martin and Benjamin.

#2. Michigan Wolverines (ã: #2)

Michigan has gone without a commitment since getting O'Maury Samuels on April 3rd, a period of almost a month. Deontre Thomas had flirted with a Michigan pledge, but ultimately decided on Nebraska.

This is by no means bad news - Michigan is in fabulous shape with its eleven pledges and will continue to build foundations with coaches and elite prospects around the country. Recruiting will heat up to about 120º this June when Harbaugh starts his Summer Swarm Part Two, this time in conjunction with Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Baylor, and Georgia. The full schedule isn't known, but expect Harbaugh to be busy.

Satellite camp dates
June 2nd Maynard Jackson High, Atlanta, Ga. (with Georgia)
June 4th USF campus, Tampa, Fla.
June 5th ODU campus, Norfolk, Va.
June 6th Bob Jones High, Madison, Alabama
June 7th Prattville High, Ala.
June 7th South Alabama campus, Mobile, Ala.
June 8th Pearl High, Miss. (with UM, MSU)
June 9-10th SMSB, Detroit
June 12th Baylor campus, Waco, Texas
June 13th Greenhill High, Addison, Texas

#1. Ohio State Buckeyes (ã: #1)

No movement here either with Ohio State's thirteen commitments, but their lead on the majority of the Big Ten is still considerable. Urban Meyer has been chasing some more depth along the defensive line, a couple of wide receivers (they currently have none) and possibly another couple linebackers. Meyer will also have to deal with some decommitments between now and February, and there has been speculation that QB commit Danny Clark and RB commit Todd Sibley will end up heading for greener pastures.

But, this is an 'Ohio State' kind of problem. There are some five-stars the Buckeyes are currently chasing to (potentially) replace those players. Needless to say, the Buckeyes' number one ranking seems secure.

Out with the old, in with the new - but the talent level has stayed about the same. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas, USA Today

So, any takeaways? Michigan is recruiting better than the rest of the conference, save Ohio State. They are also at the forefront in other ways, with satellite camps just around the corner. But the other Big Ten coaches have learned a thing or two from watching Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh work. From Ohio State at the top, down to Minnesota at #13, I feel good about teams' ability to gain talent. And this is a talent-driven world.

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