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Video: Tim Beckman talks 2014 recruiting class

Illinois head football coach Tim Beckman announced Wednesday the signing of 12 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to play football for the Fighting Illini in 2014. The 12 newest Illini join six other newcomers who are already on campus taking classes – four early enrollees and two junior college transfers – in the 18-man 2014 recruiting class. Read more at FightingIllini.com.

Dienhart: National Signing Day Notebook

The Fax machines in football offices from Lincoln, Neb., to Piscataway, N.J., worked overtime today, delivering letters-of-intent for the players of tomorrow. Yes, the future begins today. Here’s a look around the Big Ten on this big Signing Day 2014. [ MORE: Get all of our National Signing Day coverage ] NO. 1 MAN: The top-rated player signed by any Big Ten school? It’s CB Jabrill Peppers, a top-10 player in most recruiting ranks. 247Sports.com has him No. 3 overall in the nation in its composite rankings. He’s a big, physical corner from New Jersey who should impact from Day

Here's how B1G teams announced signings on Twitter

Signing Day sure has changed in the last couple of years, hasn’t it. Yes, the National Letters of Intent are still sent via fax, but teams are going all out on social media to welcome their newest football additions. Some teams even have a draft board. See how Big Ten teams made their signings official on Twitter in this post. [ MORE: Read Tom Dienhart’s 2014 Big Ten Signing Day Notebook ] Every team but Ohio State tweeted each individual signing, and a majority of the teams did so with some really fancy graphics and art work. Check it below.

Ranking the best new Big Ten football names

One of my favorite parts of National Signing Day is checking each school’s class for the best names. Per usual, the Big Ten’s 2014 signing class is littered with fantastic names. From Illinois’ Tito Odenigbo to Wisconsin’s Rafael Gaglianone, check out my top 14 (that’s how many schools we have now) new Big Ten names. Did I miss one? Submit it in the comment box at the bottom of the post. [ MORE: Track all of today’s Big Ten football signings ] TOP 14 Names 1. Bearooz Yacoobi, OT, Purdue 2. Freedom Akinmoladun, TE, Nebraska 3. Cameron Queiro, LB, Northwestern

Read these 10 Big Ten stories today

Oh, yes: It’s National Signing Day! It’s a de facto national holiday for many in America. You know who you are. But, hey, who am I to judge? I still eat Fruity Peebles. This day is all about that guy in your office who hits the “refresh” button every nanosecond on his computer to get the latest round of official commitments. Please, don’t rat him out to the boss. Here is a handy-dandy place to keep up with the Big Ten signings. And here’s another good place to keep checking today: Enjoy the day! And remember: Everyone is a winner

Track today's Big Ten football signings here

National Signing Day is here. All day long, keep up with all of the Big Ten’s latest football signings in this post. Simply click on a school’s link to visit its live Signing Day coverage. And, at 4 p.m. ET, don’t forget about our 90-minute “Signing Day Special” on BTN/BTN2Go. [ MORE: View all of our 2014 Signing Day coverage ] Signing Day Coverage Illinois: FightingIllini.com Indiana: IUHoosiers.com Iowa: HawkeyeSports.com Maryland: UMTerps.com Michigan State: MSUSpartans.com Michigan: MGoBlue.com Minnesota: GopherSports.com Nebraska: Huskers.com Northwestern: NUSports.com Ohio State: OhioStateBuckeyes.com Penn State: GoPSUSports.com Purdue: PurdueSports.com Rutgers: ScarletKnights.com Wisconsin: UWBadgers.com [ MORE: We rank the

Top recruiting bust for each school over last 10 years

Signing Day is tomorrow. It’s a day when every program is a winner. It’s an exciting day when every signee teems with All-American potential. It’s a glorious day with much back-slapping and giddy Internet chat room blather by full-grown men who should know better. The following is a cautionary tale meant to temper your child-like glee. I humbly present the biggest recruiting bust for each Big Ten school over the past decade. A moment of silence, please … thank you. [ PROGRAM ALERT: Watch our Signing Day Special at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday ] Illinois: Melvin Alaeze, DE, Randallstown, Md.,

BTN LiveBIG: Monday Download

Five members of the USA Women’s Olympic Hockey Team from the University of Minnesota donated 60 sets of hockey equipment to youth hockey associations. A new center at Penn State received a major grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study – and solve – water pollution. The University of Michigan men’s lacrosse team shaved their heads in solidarity with a new teammate – who’s nine years old. Last week, Michigan State men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo celebrated a birthday. Happy Birthday to Coach Tom Izzo. No chance he sees this, he has no twitter account? Cake & ice cream time!

Dienhart: 'I'm all for this' players union

The move to unionized college athletes continues to gain momentum. A report from ESPN says that Northwestern football players are beginning the process of being recognized as employees by reaching out for help from the National College Players Association, which filed a petition in Chicago on behalf of football players at Northwestern by submitting a form at the regional office of the National Labor Relations Board. [ MORE: Northwestern AD Jim Phillips releases statement ] At the center of the movement is Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, whose eligibility has expired. In fact, it was Colter who reached out to a

Dienhart: Top three recruiting needs for B1G teams

Happy Signing Day, Big Ten fans! The classes are filling up fast, with early reports showing Ohio State in line to ink the top collection of talent in the Big Ten. Here’s a look at the recruiting needs for each school, as we all cast an eye toward the future and get excited about the possibilities. [ MORE: Top recruiting bust for every B1G team over last 10 years ] ILLINOIS Tim Beckman’s third class is a critical one. The Fighting Illini have lost players like QB Nathan Scheelhaase, WR Ryan Lankford and LB Jonathan Brown, so work remains—especially on