Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, April 15, 2015

OK, we have another opinion in the endless debate on if players should be paid. This time, it?s ex-Michigan LB Jake Ryan weighing in. And he doesn?t think players should get any loot.

"If (someone is) a winning coach, so be it, pay them what you think," Ryan said to Matt Shepard of WDFN. With the whole paying student-athletes thing, you're getting an education. You're getting a Michigan degree, that's what I got. You get that throughout your four or five years and I think that's perfect. You work hard towards that, that's what I worked hard towards.

"That, and being a student of the game."


Somebody has to replace Iowa legend Brandon Scherff. That somebody is Ike Boettger. Listen to him talk about his difficult task fill in at left offensive tackle for Scherff.


Speaking of big fellas ? the Penn State offensive line needs to improve. Here is who to watch in the upcoming Blue-White game.


There was a Ralph Friedgen sighting at a recent Rutgers practice.

The Fridge is an advisor to Kyle Flood. Ben McDaniels is now the offensive coordinator for the Scarlet Knights.

"I had a chance to meet with him yesterday and meet with him this morning before practice," Flood told "He is going to be with us through the week. Just a tremendous resource for me as the head coach and really everybody on the team. Somebody who has been an offensive coordinator, been a head coach, been a defensive coordinator in his career. There is no limit to the knowledge he brings to this program."


How good could Michigan State?s d-line be this season? Very good, if you believe Demetrius Cooper. And, I have to believe him

In addition to Cooper, MSU also has Lawrence Thomas, Shilique Calhoun, Malik McDowell, Joel Heath and Montez Sweat, among others.

"I feel like this year's D-Line is much better than last year's, (because) we've got different players playing different positions," Cooper said. "LT (Lawrence Thomas) going inside and outside, Montez Sweat stepping up big time from last year, and me stepping into the role.

"Whenever LT goes inside, I'll come into that role, it's like, we can be unstoppable, and that's a good thing."


This is pretty neat: Minnesota?s Jerry Kill let the players run the final spring practice. And, he came away impressed with how the captains organized things.

Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune says the players built their own practice scripts and everything. Mitch Leidner ran the offense. Briean Boddy-Calhoun handled the defensive backs. Jon Christenson, who is rehabbing a leg injury, had a visor on with a sheet of paper filled with practice information, in a tribute to Matt Limegrover.

"They did awesome," coach Jerry Kill said. "Our job is to get those guys so knowledgeable that they could go coach if they wanted to. They need to understand everything."


The world watches and waits to see what Ohio State freshman sensation D?Angelo Russell is going to: turn pro or return to Columbus? Russell?s response: ?I don?t know what I?m doing.? notes that Russell would be guaranteed at least $3.1 million if taken with one of the top 5 picks in June's NBA Draft. That's where Russell's being projected, most places have him even higher than that. I have to think it will be difficult to turn down that money.


Does Urban Meyer?s new six-year, $6.5 million deal still have your head spinning? Here is a closer look at some of the numbers from Doug Lesmerises of

This is interesting. Meyer's retention bonuses went way down. He's getting more money up front, but less for sticking around. Hmmm.


The Indiana passing game last year wasn?t good. An injury to QB Nate Sudfeld didn?t help. But the receivers know they must improve.

David Woods of says complicating spring practice is that the 2015 receiving corps is not all available. One transfer, Marqui Hawkins, is injured and another, Camion Patrick, hasn't arrived yet. Incoming recruits aren't all on campus yet, either. On the other hand, that allows ample opportunity for those who are here: J-Shun Harris III, the top returning receiver (18 for 168 yards and two touchdowns); Dominique Booth (eight for 70); Simmie Cobbs (seven for 114); Ricky Jones (three for 58); Andre Booker (one for 21), and Mitchell Paige. I like the potential of this group.


Hey, Bo Pelini has to like this: A sale is pending on his nearly $1 million Nebraska house.

?Properties like this do not come along often,? the listing says.

Especially in Lincoln.

About Tom Dienhart senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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