College football players had until Jan. 15 to declare for the NFL Draft, which begins Thursday, April 26 and continues through Saturday, April 28 (get more info at NFL.com). The Big Ten saw five players (Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus, Iowa’s Riley Reiff, Michigan State’s Jerel Worthy and Edwin Baker and Wisconsin’s Peter Konz) opt for the pros, so here’s my quick look at each one along with some handy links.
Find out more about: Big Ten Blast, NFL Draft
The NFL Combine will run from Feb. 22-28 in Indianapolis. It will be the chance for college players to work out and impress NFL executives in anticipation of the draft from April 26-28. The official list of Combine invitees has yet to be released by the NFL, but CBSSports.com has a list of 231 players who reportedly have received initial invites. This initial list includes seniors only and more players are expected to be invited in coming weeks.
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(FightingIllini.com) University of Illinois head coach Tim Beckman announced the transfer of sophomore fullback Jay Prosch to Auburn on Wednesday, a move that will allow Prosch to be closer to his family in the Mobile, Ala., area, including his ailing mother. Prosch was named a first-team All-American by Pro Football Weekly on Dec. 12 and was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree this year. Watch our touching feature on Prosch and his mother now and read the rest of the release in this post.
Crazy. There’s no other way to describe what has been a topsy-turvy Big Ten chase this season, and Wisconsin point guard Jordan Taylor has lived it. His Badgers entered the season with high hopes but struggled through a three-game losing skid from Dec. 31 to Jan. 8 that included two losses on Wisconsin’s home court, a rarity.
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Michigan and Michigan State played a highly entertaining game that lived up to advance billing, with the Wolverines prevailing by the slimmest of margins. This result flew in the face of the conventional wisdom that Michigan can’t win when its threes aren’t falling, as John Beilein’s team scored quite well despite shooting 29 percent from deep. As it usually does with a Beilein offense, the answer lied in a high conversion rate on twos and a low turnover rate.
Find out more about: Geeks recaps, Trey Burke
No. 18 Michigan beat No. 9 Michigan State for the third consecutive time (recap) and Purdue held off Iowa (recap) in men’s hoops action Tuesday night. Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard, plus get stats, recaps and in-game tweets in this post. Did you see the exciting final possession in the Wolverines-Spartans game? Watch the final 31.4 seconds and check out all of our popular highlight clips in our Did You See This? archive.
Find out more about: Hoops Rapid Recaps
Tuesday night’s Michigan State-Michigan men’s basketball game was exactly what you would expect from a battle between heated instate rivals. The game, featuring two ranked foes, came down to the final possession at Crisler Center – the final second, to be more precise. In the end, the 19th-ranked Wolverines held off the ninth-ranked Spartans, 60-59, to tally their third consecutive victory in the series (recap). Watch the crazy and entertaining final 31.4 seconds now.