Welcome to Signing Day 2013! It’s the day every coach fills every need in a recruiting class that’s loaded with promising prospects with big futures. Smiles abound and big dreams are encouraged. So, let’s begin Wednesday’s links there. How did Ohio State’s highly ranked recruiting class come together? Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tells you right here.
One thing of note about this decorated group is it came from across the nation, headed by stud linebacker Mike Mitchell and running back Dontre Wilson who both are from Texas. Urban Meyer cast a wide net in assembling another boffo class. Be afraid, Big Ten. Be very afraid.
Good news, Michigan fans: Brady Hoke’s recruiting is on par with previous national champions, says Kyle Meinke of MLive.com.
Meinke says the past seven national champions all have something in common: Each featured at least two recruiting classes in the previous four years that ranked among the top seven nationally, according to Rivals. And Michigan appears to be on the verge of joining that club. So, put two and two together, and you have Wolverine fans salivating.
Now, not all news from Ann Arbor was terrific today, as running back Fitz Toussaint will miss spring drills recovering from a leg injury. But he’s expected to make a full recovery by the fall—and that’s all that really matters.
Wisconsin scored a big coup in landing JC quarterback Tanner McEvoy. The Badgers, who beat out Florida for his signature, have the services of McEvoy for three years after he began his career at South Carolina before transferring to a JC. The kid could be very special.
Marc Morehouse of the Cedar Rapids Gazette offers a detailed look at the Iowa signing class.
As Nebraska fans wait for the final letters-of-intent to roll in, Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald assessed the Cornhusker class of recruits. Oh, it’s a nice-looking haul for a Nebraska program that continues to build toward big things under Bo Pelini.
Don’t wanna put a damper on your Signing Day party, but you should read this piece from David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News on the fallacy and burden of ratings on recruits.
What rankles Jones the most? The false sense of importance 17-year-olds acquire from being highly rated in the first place. And that can have consequences once they encounter both teammates and opponents with greater diligence and conviction.
Bob Asmussen of the Champaign News-Gazette looks back at Illinois’ top signee each year dating back to 2003. Back in 2006, Juice Williams was rated the Illini’s top “get,” ahead of such future national quarterbacking luminaries as Sam Bradford and Colin Kaepernick.
This isn’t recruiting oriented but still is interesting. Mike Carmin of the Lafayette Journal-Courier obtained the salaries for Darrell Hazell’s new staff. He had $2.1 million to spend to assemble the staff, which still needs a defensive line coach and special teams/ tight ends coach.
The top-paid assistants are offensive coordinator John Shoop ($400K) and defensive coordinator Greg Hudson ($395K). Carmin says the highest-paid member of Danny Hope’s staff was offensive coordinator Gary Nord ($275,000). Defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar earned $250,000.
Amid all this football talk, there was a big hoop game played last night, with Ohio State falling in overtime at Michigan. It was one of the top games of the Big Ten season thus far. Hope you saw it. And Big Ten Nation still wonders if a flagrant foul should have been called late on Aaron Craft after he clubbed Glenn Robinson III—and if Craft was fouled on his last shot. Fascinating.
Michigan State is in the mix for the Big Ten title. Up next, a visit from Minnesota tonight. This is a shot for the Spartans to avenge that loss at Minnesota on New Year’s Eve. Minnesota big man Trevor Mbakwe will need a big game for the Gophers tonight. But he isn’t getting enough touches, so says Marcus Fuller of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press. And he needs to score when he does touch the ball.
Fuller points out that Mbakwe hasn’t scored in double figures for three straight games while shooting 7 for 16 from the field. Also, he is shooting 52 percent from the free-throw line in Big Ten play.
Wisconsin has a big game vs. Iowa tonight, but don’t mention the Badgers’ three-game losing skid to the Hawkeyes.
It would help Wisconsin tonight if Mike Bruesewitz can play well through a bothersome right leg that hasn’t been right all season.
The Badgers will need Bruesewitz’s defensive effort vs. an offensively talented Hawkeye squad. An Iowa win would greatly enhance their sagging NCAA dreams. But we all know how difficult it is to win in the Kohl Center.
Nebraska coach Tim Miles has posted a “help wanted” sign, as he searches for big men. Join the club, coach. Who doesn’t want/need a big man? I mean, a GOOD big man.
Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald says the two biggest departures size-wise at season’s end will be 6-10, 234-pound forward Brandon Ubel, who has started 79 games, and 6-11, 340-pound center Andre Almeida with 20 starts. Nebraska currently has just two scholarship players for next year taller than 6-7.
Illinois coach John Groce has a simple message for his team: Play defense, or take a seat. Brandon Paul has felt the wrath of Groce, not starting the Wisconsin game because of his spotty defense. And Paul may not start vs. Indiana on Thursday, given his defensive effort vs. the Badgers.
TWEETS THAT MATTER
Holding out hope that this is the Signing Day I'll finally hear a coach say, "Our class really isn't that great. We did a pretty poor job."—
Kevin Kugler (@kevinkugler) February 06, 2013
My take: Yes, it seems like every coach fills every need.
My take: More proof of why the finish to the hoop season is gonna be great!
Hoke on 2014 class: everything's ahead of time… it's already kicked off—
Mark Snyder (@Mark__Snyder) February 06, 2013
My take: No rest for the weary gotta push ahead. Incredible.
Can you imagine Sat at the United Center with four Top 10 teams – Indiana, Michigan, Mich St and OSU – in the Big Ten Tourney semi finals?—
Rick Brown (@RickBrownDMR) February 06, 2013
My take: Yes, but you know there will be an upset along the way.
Iowa football commit Reggie Spearman says IA will win national title. So save yer cash, Hawk fans. 4-team playoff means 2 postseason trips.—
Mike Hlas (@Hlas) February 06, 2013
My take: Ah, young people say fun things.
Absolutely hate the non-call there in Michigan-OSU. A foul is a foul whenever it occurs, otherwise the defense gets a huge advantage.—
Chris Hine (@ChristopherHine) February 06, 2013
My take: What you say is true, but we know it doesn’t always work that way.
IU basketball has 5 remaining road games — Illinois, Ohio State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Michigan. If it wins 3, it wins Big Ten.—
Pete DiPrimio (@pdiprimio) February 06, 2013
My take: I think Pete is correct, but it’s gonna be tough.
You would think in the Year 2013 recruits would be able to text or tweet in their letters-of-intent.—
GoldandBlack.com (@GoldandBlackcom) February 06, 2013
My take: Yes, Fax machines seem so 1980s.
Really like Penn State coach Patrick Chambers, but he says Nittany Lions are "really close" to winning. Not when you shoot like they do.—
Jeff Washburn (@JeffWashburnJC) February 06, 2013
My take: Chambers will get Penn State on track soon. He has too many good recruiting connections in the East.
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