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Dienhart's 2013 National Signing Day Notebook

The fax machines have stopped spitting out letters-of-intent. In fact, they have been unplugged to prevent from overheating. Now, it’s time to take a look at what happen amid a Signing Day frenzy, with schools stocking their rosters for the future. Here’s a spin around Big Ten Signing Day 2013. [ RELATED: What’s in a name? Big Ten’s top 12 names from signing day ] TOP CLASS: Ohio State The Buckeyes inked a boffo class on the heels of last year’s impressive haul, with defense being an emphasis. In fact, no Big Ten school signed more defensive players than the

What's in a name? Best Big Ten names from signing day

Every year on National Signing Day, the college football world is introduced to some spectacular names. The Big Ten is no exception. This year’s group includes a “Taco,” a “Warfield,” a “Spearman” and a “Sprinkle,” among other gems. Check out my top 12 new Big Ten names in this post. 1. Michigan’s Taco Charlton, DE, 6-6, 249, Pickerington, Ohio (Central) 2. Nebraska’s Courtney Love, LB, 6-1, 225, Youngstown, Ohio (Cardinal Mooney) 3. Nebraska’s Chongo Kondolo, OL, 6-4, 290, Weston Fla. (Cypress Bay) 4. Illinois’ Marchie Murdock, WR, 6-1, 180, Arlington, Texas (Legacy) 5. Iowa’s Solomon Warfield, DB, 6-0, 185, Cleveland,

2013 National Signing Day: Wisconsin

New coach Gary Andersen got off to a slow start upon arriving in Madison from Utah State in late-December. And RB Alex Collins, who some think is the top running back in the nation, opted to join Bret Bielema in Arkansas. But Andersen made up some ground and finished with a strong collection of talent, highlighted by a late commitment from top JC QB Tanner McEvoy, who picked the Badgers over Florida. [ RELATED: Dienhart’s National Signing Day Notebook ] RB Corey Clement comes highly touted, as do DE Chikwe Obasih, WR Rob Wheelwright and FB Austin Ramesh. Andersen signed

Signing Day: 12 teams look to fill needs

The Feb. 6 National Signing Day for football is a less than a week away, and it’s the first day recruits can ink letters of intent. It’s also the day when every fan dreams big while studying the list of players their school signed and wondering which players will be stars and which ones might be busts. But, honestly, they all look like studs on Signing Day, right? As a primer for the Signing Day frenzy, here’s a look at the top three priorities for each Big Ten team. Be sure to check out my list of football names who have

Dienhart: Fresh football faces arrive on campus

For some players, it’s all about getting a jump on the college experience in hopes of getting a jump on winning a job. That’s why players enroll in college early. In all, the Big Ten has 42 early arrivals, with 10 coming from the junior-college ranks. Illinois paced all Big Ten schools with 10 early enrollees. That’s almost half of the 24 verbal commitments that the Fighting Illini have received in the 2013 signing class, which begin inking letters of intent on Feb. 6. Michigan has six early enrollees; Penn State and Ohio State have five; Indiana, Nebraska and Purdue

Badgers QB Curt Phillips gets sixth year

News that Wisconsin quarterback Curt Phillips received a sixth season of eligibility is good for the Badgers—and for Phillips, who has endured a lot in his career. New Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen and offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig will have many options to choose from when it comes to selecting a quarterback with Danny O’Brien back for his senior season and Joel Stave back for this sophomore campaign along with Phillips. And freshman Bart Houston also is back after a redshirt season. Congrats to #Badgers @CurtPhillips10 on getting your 6th year approved. See you in the spring #BacktoSchool — Badger Football

Dienhart's early 2013 football power rankings

The final punctuation mark has been put on the 2012 season and we closed that latest chapter. Now, we turn the page and look toward 2013. Before you know it, spring football will be here. In anticipation of the fall of 2013, here’s my early, early—and I mean EARLY—look at how the Big Ten could stack up from 1-12. 1. Ohio State. The Buckeyes welcome back lots of talent from a team that went 12-0 in Urban Meyer’s debut. What can Meyer do for an encore? Most of the talent is on offense. And the schedule is very manageable. Bottom

Video: Watch our Montee Ball highlight reel

Last week, “Big Ten Football Report” compiled a Denard Robinson highlight package; this week, it was Montee Ball’s turn. And just like Robinson’s video, Ball’s 2012 piece does not disappoint. It should come as no surprise, though, as the 2012 Doak Walker Award winner ripped off his share of individual highlights this season on his way to becoming the NCAA career touchdown leader. Watch the video now. Check out Ball’s career stats below: Year Team G Rush Yds Yd/Rush TDs Rec Yds Yd/Rec TDs 2009 Wisc 9 98 391 4.0 4 9 92 10.2 0 2010 Wisc 12 163 996

Dienhart: 'End of one era, beginning of another'

When it comes to motivation, few push buttons better than Barry Alvarez. Heading into the Rose Bowl vs. Stanford, Alvarez had bracelets made for players that read “I’m In” and “I’m On.” But the players had to earn the rubber jewelry through their position coach. The idea: Get players to focus on the Rose Bowl, the task at hand—and to zone out the background noise surrounding the program. And there was a lot of background noise, set off by Bret Bielema’s stunning departure for Arkansas just days after leading the Badgers to a third Rose Bowl bid with a dominating 70-31

How did we do? Big Ten bowl predictions revisited

Every week this season, Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) and myself (@BTNBrentYarina) offered our predictions for each Big Ten football game and provided polls for fans to pick their winners. We continued it this bowl season, and BTN.com fans and Dienhart each went 7-0, meaning the former claims the 2012 crown. Dienhart was two games off the pace, while yours truly finished a distant seven games out. [ RELATED: View our 2012-13 bowl schedule ] FINAL RECORDS BTN.com fans: 82-22; .788 Tom: 80-24; .769 Brent: 75-29; .721 Meineke Car Care Bowl: Texas Tech 34, Minnesota 31 Tom’s pick: Texas Tech, 35-21 – The Gophers