Big Ten links: Spring football news, depth charts & much more

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten links: Spring football news, depth charts & much more

What are the biggest questions about Penn State before its Blue and White game?

For me, quarterback, d-line and o-line are big questions.

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If you listen to Rutgers DE Quanzell Lambert, the Scarlet Knights will be more aggressive on defense.

“The defensive scheme is definitely a lot more aggressive up front,” redshirt senior defensive end Quanzell Lambert said. “It’s more of a north game for the D-line instead of east-west and stunting and everything.”

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It seems the rule that has deregulated texting has caused some concern, as now schools can text a prospect as often as they want. No big whoop. If a kid doesn’t want to get text messages from, say, East Timbuktu State, he can just block it—like he probably has with an old girlfriend who kept texting him.

“I don’t know how much it’s going to change the world,” Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz said afterward. “The basketball guys have already been doing that for several years.”

Texting for Division I basketball coaches was deregulated in 2012. But until Friday, communication between football players and coaches was a one-way street. The player could text the coach, but the coach could not text back. Now, either side can buzz at any time.

“It’s just kind of gotten to a point where there’s that ability to have contact with prospects pretty much non-stop,” Ferentz said. “So it’s pretty much up to the prospect to try and control it now.”

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Keep an eye on the Ohio State o-line. We know Pat Elflein and Billy Price are solid. But the other spots need to be watched.

There are a lot of moving parts right now for a front that is working with a new line coach. The biggest position battle is at left guard. True freshman Michael Jordan is the leader right now, as he has eased past Demetrius Knox.

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A not-so-secret weapon for Michigan State on offense: WR Donnie Corley.

“He looks like a guy who can really play,” Mark Dantonio said. “He reminds you of, I guess, a (Tony) Lippett-like guy, in terms of his height.

“But he’ll have a tremendous career here, I feel.”

Wow. High praise. Senior R.J. Shelton is the only returning wideout with more than seven career catches at MSU. Corley was arguably the most celebrated recruit in Michigan State’s 2016 signing class.

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Mlive has a deeper look at Michigan’s depth chart now that spring drills are over.

All eyes are on Wilton Speight, who seemingly sits atop the QB depth chart. But don’t discount John O’Korn. I think when it’s all said and done, the Houston transfer will win the job. Another spot to watch is left OT, where freshman Grant Newsome looks like the answer. Is he the next Bubba Paris?

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Speaking of depth charts, InsideNU.com has a look at the Wildcats’.

Projected wideouts Austin Carr, Solomon Vault and Marcus McShepard need to play well. And pass rushers are needed. Ifeadi Odenigbo and Xavier Washington must bring the heat.

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It’s no secret: Purdue needs better play from quarterback, a position that has been a revolving door under Darrell Hazell. David Blough looks to be the guy in 2016 after taking over last season. But to improve, his decision making must be sharpened.

“The way I’ve developed the most is in my decision making. Because of that, I can control my feet a little better,” Blough said recently. “I can control myself and my accuracy better. When I come to the line, I can make the decisions. The flow is a little better than it has been in the past.”

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There could be a lot of rebuilding to do at Maryland, as Melo Trimble and Diamond Stone have said they are turning pro.

Now, Trimble won’t hire and agent—and seems likely to return. Stone is gone after a strong freshman season and then inking with an agent. Robert Carter Jr. announced last week that he was forgoing his senior year to turn pro. The team’s two other starters, forward Jake Layman and guard Rasheed Sulaimon, were seniors.

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Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer

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, and send him questions to his weekly mailbag.

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