Dienhart: A look at Big Ten early enrollees

National Signing Day is Feb. 5th, but schools have been inking mid-year prospects for a few weeks in the early-signing period. And today is the deadline.

The Big Ten will welcome 51 newcomers, who all are enrolled and able to go through winter conditioning and spring ball.

Illinois leads the way with nine mid-year enrollees. Michigan and Ohio State each have brought in seven. Indiana has six, while Penn State and Wisconsin have five.

Iowa and Northwestern have the fewest mid-year additions with just one each.

Among the newcomers are 10 junior college transfers. Illinois leads the way with four JCs. Nebraska has two. Penn State, Indiana, Minnesota and Iowa each have one.

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The most decorated arrival is Ohio State’s Raekwon McMillan, the No. 1 linebacker in the nation according to some recruiting services. Linebacker has been a sore spot in Columbus in recent years. And Ryan Shazier’s early departure for the NFL only exasperates the situation. No doubt, McMillan figures to get every opportunity to start right away.

Buckeye wideout Curtis Samuel is a top-50 recruit in some services, and fellow OSU receiver Johnnie Dixon and Michigan wideout Drake Harris aren’t far behind in national rankings.

Mason Cole is a top-150 offensive lineman who is needed at Michigan. Ohio State’s Kyle Trout also rates among the nation’s best o-linemen.

Penn State quarterback Michael O’Connor is among the top 200 recruits in the nation, while Northwestern got a gem in CB Parkker Westphal.

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View each school’s early-enrollees

ILLINOIS (9)
WR Geronimo Allison, 6-3, 185, Tampa (Iowa Western C.C.)
QB Chayce Crouch, QB, 6-4, 220, Granville, Ohio (Newark Catholic)
OL Peter Cvijanovic, 6-6, 280, Concord Township, Ohio (East Coast Prep, Mass.)
DB Tyree Stone-Davis, 6-3, 190, Philadelphia (Pierce College, Calif.)
WR Tyrin Stone-Davis, 6-3, 195, Philadelphia (Pierce College, Calif.)
WR Mike Dudek, 5-11, 180, Naperville, Ill. (Neuqua Valley)
DL Joe Fotu, 6-3, 275, San Leandro, Calif. (Laney C.C., Calif.)
TE Jordan Frazier, 6-5, 240, Rogersville, Mo. (Lighthouse Christian Academy)
DL Paul James III, 6-3, 240, Miami, Fla. (Norland)

INDIANA (6)
OL Delroy Baker, 6-6, 290, St. Petersburg, Fla. (Admiral Farragut Academy)
WR Dominique Booth, 6-0, 200, Indianapolis (Pike)
QB Alexander Diamont, 6-1, 175, Los Angeles (Venice)
TE Jordan Fuchs, 6-6, 230, New Berlin, N.Y. (Milford Academy)
OL Tim Gardner, 6-5, 320, New Berlin, N.Y. (Milford Academy)
OL DeAndre Herron, 6-5, 330, Council Bluffs, Iowa (Iowa Western C.C.)

IOWA (1)
P Dillon Kidd, 6-1, 220, Torrance, Calif. (El Camino C.C.)

MICHIGAN (7)
WR Freddy Canteen, 6-1, 170 Elkton, Md. (Eastern Christian Academy)
OT Mason Cole, 6-5, 275 Tarpon Springs, Fla. (East Lake)
LB Michael Ferns, 6-3, 233 Saint Clairsville, Ohio (Saint Clairsville)
WR Drake Harris , 6-4, 180 Grand Rapids, Mich. (Grand Rapids Christian)
DT Bryan Mone, 6-4, 315 Salt Lake City, Utah (Highland)
QB Wilton Speight, 6-6, 230 Richmond, Va. (The Collegiate School)
DB Brandon Watson, 5-11, 185 Elkton, Md. (Eastern Christian Academy)

MICHIGAN STATE (2)
LB Chris Frey, 6-0, 208, Upper Arlington, Ohio (Upper Arlington)
TE Matt Sokol, 6-5, 226, Rochester, Mich. (Adams)

MINNESOTA (2)
LB Cody Poock, 6-2, 230, Okoboji, Iowa (Iowa Western C.C.)
QB Dimonic McKinzy, 6-0, 210, Kansas City, Kan. (Wyandotte)

NEBRASKA (3)
DB Byerson Cockrell, 6-2, 185, Scooba, Miss. (East Mississippi C.C.)
QB Zack Darlington, 6-1, 210, Apopka, Fla. (Apoka)
DL Joe Keels, 6-4, 280, Highland, Kan. (Highland C.C., Kan.)

NORTHWESTERN (1)
CB Parkker Westphal, 6-0, 185, Bolingbrook, Ill. (Bolingbrook)

OHIO STATE (7)
QB Stephen Collier, 6-4 208, Leesburg, Ga. (Lee County)
WR Johnnie Dixon, 5-11, 197, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (Dwyer)
OL Marcelys Jones, 6-5, 325, Cleveland, Ohio (Glenville)
LB Raekwon McMillan, 6-2, 242, Hinesville, Ga. (Liberty County)
K Sean Nuernberger, 6-2, 220, Buckner, Ky. (Oldham County)
WR/RB Curtis Samuel, 6-0, 185, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Erasmus Hall Campus)
OL Kyle Trout, 6-6, 300, Lancaster, Ohio (Lancaster)

PENN STATE (5)
DT Tarow Barney, 6-3, 285, Gainesville, Fla. (Northwest Mississippi C.C.)
QB Michael O’Connor, 6-5, 223, Ottawa, Canada (IMG Academy, Fla.)
WR De’Andre Thompkins, 5-11, 172, Hubert, N.C. (Swansboro)
DT Antoine White, 6-2, 267, Millville, N.J. (Millville High School)
OT Chasz Wright, 6-7, 300, Woodbridge, Va. (C.D. Hylton)

PURDUE (3)
OL Kirk Barron, 6-2, 294, Mishawaka, Ind. (Marian)
QB David Blough, 6-1, 187, Carrollton, Texas (Creekview)
DL Langston Newton, 6-4, 260, Carmel, Ind. (Carmel/Kentucky)

WISCONSIN (5)

OL Michael Deiter, 6-5, 295, Genoa, Ohio (Genoa)

RB Taiwan Deal, 6-2, 225, Hyattsville, Md. (DeMatha)

OL Jaden Gault, 6-6, 281, Monona Grove (Monona Grove)
QB D.J. Gillins, 6-3, 185, Jacksonville, Fla. (Ribault)
DB Austin Hudson, 6-2, 188, Tampa (Plant)

About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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Matt on 1/15/2014 @ 8:29pm EDT Said:

Good list. Scoured the web for Maryland and Rutgers early enrollees but to no avail. As an east coast native originally, it doesn’t surprise me. College football in the MId-Atlantic isn’t on the same level, especially when it comes to fan fervor.

Any info on that? It should bump the number up from 50 a little bit if they have any.