Former Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus didn’t have to wait long to hear his name called during the 2012 NFL Draft. With the 26th pick of Thursday night’s first round, the Houston Texans selected Mercilus, the first of four Illinois players taken in the opening 48 picks. Check out all the Big Ten draft picks and see who inked free-agent contracts. BTN cameras were at Mercilus’ family draft watching party in Akron, Ohio, to capture the nerves and jubilation of the memorable night. Watch the behind-the-scenes feature now.
If you’re a Michigan State or Wisconsin fan and you didn’t see Saturday night’s “Big Ten Tonight: Spring Football Report,” you missed the show’s dramatic intro. With the Spartans and Badgers wrapping up Big Ten spring action Saturday, BTN producers compiled an impressive montage that spotlighted the teams’ unforgettable 2011 meetings. From the last-second “Rocket” play in East Lansing, Mich., during the regular season to the memorable inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game, both games are well represented. See video from Michigan State and Wisconsin’s spring games in this post.
Find out more about: Gone Viral
The University of Iowa softball team won its third straight Big Ten series, downing Indiana, 10-0, in five innings on a soggy Sunday afternoon at Pearl Field. Following the game, the Hawkeyes recognized seniors Katie Keim and Liz Watkins for Senior Day. The victory improves Iowa’s record to 23-24 overall and 12-6 in the Big Ten, while Indiana falls to 24-25 overall and 8-10 in conference play. Watch our highlights from Iowa’s easy win, read full recap at HawkeyeSports.com and see our Sunday softball roundup in this post.
New Michigan State quarterback Andrew Maxwell missed Saturday’s Green-White game due to a sprained right knee, but Mark Dantonio and company know what they have in their junior signal-caller. Maxwell, who spent the past two seasons as Kirk Cousins’ backup, is a sharp product who understands the game and his role — just like his predecessor. In nine game career games, Maxwell has completed 29 of 51 passes (57 percent) for 294 yards and one touchdown.
The 2012 NFL Draft came to a close Saturday night. Forty-one former Big Ten stars were selected during the three-day event in New York, including four first-rounders: Iowa’s Riley Reiff, Illinois’ Whitney Mercilus, Wisconsin Kevin Zeitler and Illinois’ A.J. Jenkins. Mercilus and Jenkins were the first of four Illini drafted in the first 48 picks. Even more impressive, four of the Big Ten’s first six players off the board were Illini. Catch up on the entire draft with FoxSports.com’s Draft Tracker and see all the Big Ten picks in this post.
Find out more about: Big Ten Pros, NFL Draft
Wisconsin played its annual spring game Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium, and while several key Badgers were on the sidelines, including stars Montee Ball and Chris Borland, it still looked strong. Watch highlights now and see our sideline interviews with Ball, Borland and former wide receiver Nick Toon, who was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the NFL draft, in this post. Also, see what BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart learned from Saturday’s action and check out some of the best in-game tweets. You can watch the game again at 8 p.m. ET Sunday on BTN.