Action since last rankings:
7-1-10 Indiana gains commitment from Forisse Hardin.
7-2-10 Northwestern gains commitment from Cameron Dickerson.
7-5-10 Northwestern gains commitment from Derek Watt. Wisconsin gains commitment from Jordan Frederick.
7-7-10 Northwestern gains commitment from Geoff Mogus. Penn State gains commitment from Jordan Kerner.
7-8-10 Iowa gains commitment from Jake Duzey.
7-9-10 Minnesota gains commitment from Matt LaCosse.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg|
Rivals rankings have been converted to their "RR" scale, which is on a scale from about 5 to about 6.1. Unrated prospects are given a 5.1 rating, on par with the worst of any Big Ten commit last year. Scout is on the 5-star system, and ESPN uses grades out of 100.
|#1 Ohio State - 17 Commits|
Buckeyes hold steady stop the rankings.
|#2 Notre Dame - 12 Commits|
Notre Dame and Nebraska are basically neck-and-neck. The Irish stay ahead on the basis of better average rankings.
|#3 Nebraska - 13 Commits|
The Huskers have gone a couple weeks without a substantive commit now. They stand to gain in the rankings when ESPN ranks the rest of their guys.
|#4 Michigan - 7 Commits|
Wolverines stay steady, but don't be surprised if they nab a couple guys this week.
|#5 Michigan State - 7 Commits|
Michigan State misses out to Iowa on a TE they thought they had locked up.
|#6 Indiana - 19 Commits|
Forisse Hardin gives the Hoosiers some Name of the Year cachet.
|#7 Iowa - 9 Commits|
Hawkeyes steal Jake Duzey from the State of Michigan. They now have three tights ends committed, so maybe they can give up Ray Hamilton.
|#8 Northwestern - 10 Commits|
Northwestern has the big week this time around, picking up a trio of commits.
|#9 Purdue - 5 Commits|
No change for the Boilermakers. They stay ahead of Minnesota despite the Gophers gaining a commitment.
|#10 Minnesota - 7 Commits|
High school QB Matt LaCosse commits to the Gophers. Will he stay at that position once he gets to the next level.
|#11 Wisconsin - 6 Commits|
I'm telling you, the Badgers are determined to form a recruiting class made entirely of tight ends and linebackers. Jordan Frederick is the newest addition.
|#12 Illinois - 6 Commits|
|#13 Penn State - 2 Commits|
Penn State has enough commits that their class is almost no longer humorous. Almost.
Louisiana DB Daren Kitchen just told me that Fred Jackson, his recruiter, extended him a verbal offer. Rich Rodriguez is on vacation, so the written offer won't be in the mail until he gets back. Kitchen has been long saying that he wanted an offer from Michigan, and would commit once he gets one.
That is the same feeling he has today. He said, "I'll probably just commit right away, because that's the one I've been waiting for." Kitchen is a 3 star according to Rivals, and stands at 6-foot-1, and 172-pounds. He holds offers from Kansas, Memphis, Nebraska, and Stanford, as well.
I'm not sure the exact date of when RR gets back from vacation, but it will be soon. Look for his commitment to drop shortly after. I like Kitchen, I think he's a good addition to the class. He will be the third defensive back already, so we'll see how that plays out for the other recruits we're after, like Kyshoen Jarrett.
I can't find his highlight tape on YouTube, but you can go to his profile on one of the recruiting sites to watch it. I'm just trying to fill up the two hundred word minimum now, I don't really have anything else to say about him.
Just found out that baseball recruit Michael O'Neill, nephew of former Yankee Paul O'Neill and 42nd round draft pick of the Yankees in this year's draft, will be missing this summer with a torn labrum.
He had surgery in June from the sounds of it (article dated June 16, emphasis mine):
"(My uncle Paul) told me that it was an honor to be selected as a 17-year-old as one of the top (1,525) players in the country or however many were selected," said Michael, an outfielder who hit .570 with 11 home runs, 24 RBI and 20 stolen bases. "I was kind of surprised that the Yankees took me. I kind of thought San Diego was interested, but I have always been a (Yankees) fan, so that was great."
"They were at the tournament and asked me if I want to sign, but right now it's based on money," O'Neill said. "Coming out of the 42nd round, you don't know what to expect. For now, we know it's New York and they have all the money in the world. If they want to give us what we want to go play for them, they will. Right now, I think [Yankee draftee Dezse and I] expect to go to college."
Both players have surgery scheduled this month. O'Neill will be having his torn left labrum repaired on Friday
It should take 8-12 weeks for the labrum to heal and be back at full strength. That puts him back healthy in time for fall ball. O'Neill is very likely to take over one of the spots in the outfield next season and I don't think this set back should affect that likelihood very much.
(HT: Chris Webb of Buckeye State Baseball)
I have gotten this question a few times on what ND's depth chart looks like. Problem is Kelly doesn't release a "depth chart" and you have to draw conclusions based on who you see there during scrimmage. So at the end of spring this is the picture I had in mind, if you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them.
Also don't confuse the lack of a starter as a sign of a weak position group.
QB: Behind Crist is Montana and then 3 freshmen, Hendrix Massa and Rees
RB: Allen should be #1 but he isn't an every down back, Cierre Wood would be his backup for the speedy back and then Robert Hughes and Jonas Gray could both be the big back. Cameron Roberson is a freshman and unlikely to see playing time but Kelly really liked his film, more so maybe than anyone from the last recruiting class
WR: Obviously floyd will start but who knows from there. Goodman, Walker and Shaq evans have all played outside and all bring different things to the table. In the slot Shaq evans is again an option, Theo Riddick just changed to this position, Kamara would be the veteran in the corp, and then Tailer Jones another freshman who played a lot in the spring game seems to be right there for playing time too. Behind all that is Bennett Jackson, Austin Collinsworth and Dan Smith who are freshman and unlikely to be seen on the field any time soon.
TE: Rudolph is #1 without a doubt, and probably followed by a combination of Bobby Burger and Ragone. Eifert and Golic are probably situational guys but otherwise may only be ST players this year. 2 more behind them in freshmen Alex Welch and Derek Roback
On the oline : I think Wenger will probably get the nod at center but Braxton Cave is named by others so not entirely positive; Jordan Cowert is likely in third and may only be a special teams long snapper
OG: Stewart and Trevor robinson should be almost guaranteed to be filling out the interior. Behind them is Chris Watt, another Golic, and lane Clelland
OT: After spring conditioning Zach Martin and Taylor Dever seemed to be the consensus starters but it will be a battle again in the fall. Besides them Matt Romine, Lane Clelland, Alex Bullard are options, with Christian Lombard and Tate Nichols incoming freshman this year. There is also a chance that either of the above guards could get bumped outside to a tackle.
DE: Ethan Johnson and Kapron Lewis-Moore are the favorites after spring practice but Hafis Williams and Emeka Nwankwo are just as interchangeable as is Sean Cwynar. Behind those 5 is 3 freshman Kona Schwenke, Justin Utupo and Bruce Heggie
DT: Ian Williams should be starting here in september but Brandon Newman isn't far off, behind them is Tyler Stockton and freshman Louis Nix
OLB: It will be 2 of the following, Kerry Neal Brian Smith, Steve Filer or Darius Fleming. I expect Smith and Fleming will get the most time but both Neal and Filer have gotten just as much praise and more at times. Behind them is Dan Fox and freshen Prince Shembo and Danny Spond
MLB: Teo will start he will be ND field general on defense, beside him will probably be Anthony McDonald or David Posluszny. Steve Paskorz recently switched back to MLB after being a FB last season so he may make an impact as well, just not sure yet. Calabrese and freshman Kendall Moore round out the unit
CB: Its a group of 3, Darrin Walls, Gary Gray, and Robert Blanton. Pick any 2 you want I am sure they will all see a lot of time. Behind them are EJ Banks and freshman Lo Wood.
S: Probably the weakest unit on the team tbh just based on all the questions to be answered. Harrison Smith and Jamoris Slaughter are the 2 most likely to be back there but I wont be sleeping on Dan McCarthy or Zeke Motta either. Freshman Chris Badger hits like a truck but I don't expect to see him this year.
P/K Tausch and Turk are likely to split the duties like last year, Brandon Walker is still on the team but has some back issues holding him back from really competing. There is also a walkon kicker that is the more likely backup FG kicker (ahead of walker) but I can't remember his name....
Jordan Walsh, out of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, is one of the top offensive line prospects in the country. He's the sixth best offensive guard, according to Rivals. Walsh has had interest in Michigan since his visit for Junior Day, and that interest is still growing. Here's his sophomore film (his junior film isn't on YouTube), then our conversation.
TOM: Let's start with where your interest in Michigan started from.
JORDAN: I was getting some mail from them, and then I got a junior day invite. I went up there, and they saw my film somewhere, and that's how they offered me. They offered me when I was up there. It was just amazing there, too. The trophy cases, the championships, the coaches were awesome, and Ann Arbor, the town was awesome. I really felt a lot of interest being there.
TOM: Was that where all of this stemmed from? Just from a visit?
JORDAN: Well, my mom always liked Michigan. She was a big Michigan football fan, and she told me when I was younger that I should go to Michigan. When we went there, I really liked it. She loved the junior day visit, too. When Coach Rodriguez offered me, she started crying. I guess my mom saying that all those years really got me interested initially. She's a fan of everybody now, though. She wants me to make my own decision, so she's a fan of everybody.
TOM: So is your Mom coming with you on any other visits then?
JORDAN: We might be coming back up to Michigan on the 13th (Tuesday). I really want to see the academic side and the support system they have. I want to check if I went there, if they would help me out. I have around a 3.7 GPA right now, so that's important to me. I'm not 100% sure if we're coming because I was talking with one of the (Michigan) coaches, and he gave us two dates. I'm not sure which date me and my mom are going to choose yet.
TOM: Do you have a top list right now, or are you looking to narrow it down?
JORDAN: I have a top eight. It's (in no order) Michigan, Iowa, MSU, Northwestern, LSU, USC, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee. To summarize them all, I felt comfortable with all of them. I'm interested in all of them, and I like all the coaches.
TOM: Do you know when you're going to make your decision then?
JORDAN: I don't really have a timeline set. I really just want to see everything I'm looking for. If I see and hear the stuff that I need to, then after that I'll make my decision. I don't really know when that will be.
TOM: For the fans that don't know too much about you, tell us who you are as a football player.
JORDAN: Some coaches say that I finish my blocks, and I'm nasty on the field. To be honest, I just love the game of football. I'll do anything a coach ask me to do. I block, so I obviously can't ask for the ball, or anything. The offensive line is a cool position. You don't really get the glory, or praise, but you get to hit a lot of people.
In the loosely adapted ways of Dante, I present to you the fourth canto of Formerly's Football Inferno. I promise nothing when it comes to grammar, punctuation, logical plots, or anything that normally goes into story writing.
For those of you unfamiliar, Dante walks through each region of hell to learn the sins and punishment by talking to those souls trapped. In the third circle of Dante's hell, home to those committing Gluttony, the souls here must endure endless rain of sludge from the monster Cerberus.
After another endless walk, we finally climbed down into the third circle of hell. In this circle of hell, the windstorms of the second circle turned to a freezing storm of black snow. Temperatures were easily below freezing. Luckily I took my jacket with me to the Michigan game I last left, oh so long ago. Michigan weather is tricky like that. It changes on a whim.
As we pushed on through the circle, we could see large hills all around us, however, people weren't to be seen. As we slid between hills, zigzagging through the valleys that channeled through, you'd occasionally hear a person yell, but not often. After a few yells, I had to ask Davy Crockett just what that horrid screaming was.
"Kid, this is the realm of hell for all those who never once made it to Michigan Stadium. It's a sacred pilgrimage that every Michigan fan must complete at least once in their life. For those that don't they are doomed to spend eternity sitting in a replica of Michigan Stadium, except there is no game.
"They must sit and endure the cold of a night game in December. A black snow blots out the light as their souls must freeze. Each of these hills are actually stadiums built into the ground, filled with twice the normal capacity so the damned will have to feel an even bigger squeeze on space. On top of that, they blast RAWK MUZIK into their ears. It's diabolical."
"That's a harsh penalty," I replied. "Is there exemptions for poor people, those who never visit America, or otherwise?"
"Alas, they do not. If you never make a game, you are damned to hell. It used to be worse though. It used to be if you didn't make an Ohio State game. Hell eventually had to change that. The ADA got wind and claimed there just weren't enough handicapped seats in Michigan Stadium to get all the crippled people of the world into Ohio State games. So Hell sent their lawyer-types, of which there are plenty, and sent them to orchestrate a renovation of Michigan Stadium. The requirement to see an Ohio State game should be mandatory again by 2012."
"Huh," I shrugged. "I guess I take back all those nasty accusations I made about the handicapped ruining the Big House."
"Yeah," agreed Crockett. "They had nothing to do with it. Hell doesn't discriminate. The handicapped are just as worthy of punishment."
"So that screaming I heard, that was the RAWK MUZIK?" I asked.
"Yeah, that's the RAWK MUZIK. Horrible stuff."
"So is there a spirit around I can talk to?"
"Nah, most of the people in these stadiums are losers who never went to a game. You know, like that stereotypical Asian kid who went to the UgLi instead of games. That and ugly girls who are pasty. They have no interest in those around them in life, nor do they have any interest in each other in hell. You don't want to be associated with them do you?"
"Davy, you're a horrible soul. I don't even know if you'd made it into Christian heaven with views like that. That said, I don't want to be associated with those type of people at all. I find they normally smell funny, too. Let's hurry and get out of this damn cold. May we never play night games in November or December ever."
As we walked on, I caught a glimpse of the godzillatron in the sky. Michigan just came back against Wisconsin to win. Ha, what the hell did that Domer loving Grantland Rice know about Michigan's future. The Rodriguez Era has begun. Sucker.
(Special thanks to chunkums for the gif)