Big Ten Round-Up Feb. 9th

Written By Alex Compton

Illinois Fighting Illini

  • Recruiting Snapshot (247 Sports)

        Class Size: 25

        Average Player Rating: 80.86

        B1G Ranking: 12th

  • Team leader and second leading tackler T.J. Neal has decided to leave the program with one year of eligibility remaining. He had 109 tackles last season, and was expected to anchor a very young linebacking corps next year. He is the NINTH senior to leave the program this offseason to play their final year somewhere else. Neal will be eligible right away, but cannot head to a school that the Illini play next season. Look for Penn State to snag him.

  • The team’s annual Orange and Blue spring game will be on April 16th in Memorial Stadium at 1:00. The game will wrap up Illinois’ spring season, which starts with practice on March 11th.

Indiana Hoosiers

  • Recruiting Snapshot (247 Sports)

        Class Size: 21

        Average Player Rating: 82.30

        B1G Ranking: 11th

  • The recruiting class took a hit as DJ Wonnum and Chris Henderson backed off of their IU commitments. That left IU with no defensive linemen in the class until Allen Stallings flipped from Central Michigan and Jerome Johnson committed.

  • Not much news other than the end of the recruiting period for 2016. Spring ball can’t come soon enough!

  • Make sure to follow us on Twitter (@Hoosier_Huddle) to stay up to date with all of the latest #iufb news and notes!

Iowa Hawkeyes

  • Recruiting Snapshot (247 Sports)

        Class Size: 25

        Average Player Rating: 84.17

        B1G Ranking: 8th

  • No news other than the conclusion of this year’s recruiting class in Iowa City.

Maryland Terrapins

  • Recruiting Snapshot (247 Sports)

        Class Size: 21

        Average Rating: 84.19

        B1G Ranking: 7th

  • Former head coach Randy Edsall has found another job in football. Edsall has been hired by the Detroit Lions as their Director of Football Research/ Special Projects. I have as good of guess as you as to what he’ll be researching exactly. Maryland owes him $2.1 million next year.

  • Maryland will be hosting open tryouts on February 24th. Participants must be full-time students at the University of Maryland College Park.

  • The Terps have added a home and home series with the 49ers of Charlotte. Maryland will play on the road in 2022, and then then in College Park in 2023. This was Charlotte’s first year in the FBS.

Michigan Wolverines

  • Recruiting Snapshot (247 Sports)

        Class Size: 29

        Average Player Rating: 89.96

        B1G Ranking: 2nd

  • Erik Swenson made national headlines when he said his Michigan offer had been pulled just weeks before national signing day. He announced his commitment to Oklahoma before NSD.

  • Head coach Jim Harbaugh hosted a “Signing of the Stars” event on national signing day to welcome the new players to Michigan. Notable guests included Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, and former players including Tom Brady, Desmond Howard and Denard Robinson. Other names included legendary shortstop Derek Jeter, pro wrestler Ric Flair, former Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz, former NFL coach Mike Shanahan, NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski, and musicians Josh Gracin, Jack Kennedy, Mayer Hawthorne and Migos. The event was live streamed and raised money for the ‘ChadTough’ foundation. The foundation raises money for pediatric brain tumors research, and is named in honor of the late Chad Carr, grandson of former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr.

  • Former Wolverine football player Warde Manuel has been named as the next Director of Athletics for the university. He will be the 12th in school history, and takes over after three years at the University of Connecticut.

  • Former top-100 recruit Brian Cole announced that he is transferring to Kentucky this morning. Listed as an athlete, he practiced at both WR and DB for the Wolverines while redshirting this year. He will have 3 seasons of eligibility left after sitting out the 2016 season.

  • Michigan ended national signing day by grabbing a commitment from the nation’s top recruit Rashan Gary. Look for the 6’5” DT to cause mayhem for offensive lines from day one.

Michigan State Spartans

  • Recruiting Snapshot (247 Sports)

        Class Size: 19

        Average Player Rating: 88.52

        B1G Ranking: 4th

  • Season ticket prices have been increased for the first time in seven seasons. The $5 per game increase makes a package $343 for the year, and a $10 per game increase for parking makes a season pass $210.

  • At a press event before national signing day, head coach Mark Dantonio made it clear that he would not be sleeping over with any recruits, and also talked to the Detroit Free Press about how important in-state players are to the program. He said, “I think it’s the backbone of who we are, and we’ve been very, very successful with those guys throughout the years.” This is very different from Michigan’s approach to raid the entire country for the best talent.

  • In other UM/MSU news, Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis said he would not welcome a night game against the Wolverines in East Lansing. Although they want to host more night games moving forward, Hollis does not want to host Michigan at night because of the anticipated fan behavior. He highlighted the unruly behavior of fans during an Ohio State night game in 2014, and wants to stay away from this type of atmosphere in the future.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

  • Recruiting Snapshot (247 Sports)

        Class Size: 20

        Average Player Rating: 84.42

        B1G Ranking: 9th

  • New defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel will receive a raise of just under $300,000 next season. He will make $550,000 annually for the next two seasons after moving from secondary coach to defensive coordinator this offseason.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

  • Recruiting Snapshot (247 Sports)

        Class Size: 21

        Average Player Rating: 87.07

        B1G Ranking: 5th

  • Defensive line coach Frank Hughes is no longer on Mike Riley’s at Nebraska. It came as a surprise to many Nebraska insiders that this move was made, as Nebraska was 9th in rush defense last season and had two junior defensive tackles receive second round NFL draft grades and leave school early. Hughes was one of only three assistants that had not worked with Mike Riley before last season.

  • A date for their spring game has been set. Their game will take place on Saturday, April 16th. Tickets went on sale on Wednesday, and cost $15 for club seats and $10 for reserved seats. They are free to students. 76,881 showed up for last year’s game, and more are expected this spring.

Northwestern Wildcats

  • Recruiting Snapshot (247 Sports)

        Class Size: 20

        Average Player Rating: 84.45

        B1G Ranking: 10th

  • Nothing worth noting in Evanston other than the conclusion of NU’s 2016 recruiting class. The Wildcats open the season at home against Western Michigan.

Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Recruiting Snapshot (247 Sports)

        Class Size: 25

        Average Player Rating: 91.57

        B1G Ranking: 1st     

  • Ohio State’s spring game will take place on April 16th at 1:30. Tickets are $5 and include admission to the OSU-Michigan lacrosse game right before the spring game.

  • Head coach Urban Meyer had an informational session for NFL scouts last week. Along with other members of his staff, Meyer answered questions about the huge number of prospects that OSU has in the 2016 NFL draft. 38 NFL scouts attended the event. 38.

  • Former star offensive lineman Orlando Pace was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame over the weekend. In his three seasons at OSU from 1994-1996, Pace was a two-time All-American, two-time Lombardi Award winner, and winner of the 1996 Outland Trophy. He left school after his junior season and was the #1 overall pick by the St. Louis Rams. He played 13 NFL seasons, won 1 Super Bowl, was a 7-time Pro Bowl selection, and earned All-Pro honors 5 times.

Penn State Nittany Lions

  • Recruiting Snapshot (247 Sports)

        Class Size: 20

        Average Player Rating: 88.09

        B1G Ranking: 3rd

  • Second year athletic director Sandy Barbour is beginning to explore additions and improvements to Beaver Stadium. She has hired an outside firm to come in and assess the stadium, as well as get fan opinions about what they want/ would pay for. Beaver Stadium is the second largest stadium in the country.

Purdue Boilermakers

  • Recruiting Snapshot (247 Sports)

        Class Size: 23

        Average Player Rating: 79.74

        B1G Ranking: 14th

  • Darrell Hazell announced the hiring of offensive line coach Darrell Funk last week. Funk spent last season at Akron, where the Zips rushed for just over 164 yards per game. Prior to his stint in Akron, Funk was the O-Line coach at Michigan for three seasons.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

  • Recruiting Snapshot (247 Sports)

        Class Size: 17

        Average Player Rating: 82.27

        B1G Ranking: 13th

  • The Rutgers spring game will be on Saturday, April 23rd, at 7:00 pm. This is the second straight season that the game will be under the lights in Piscataway. BTN will have primetime coverage of the Scarlet vs. White game for the end of new head coach Chris Ash’s first spring season at Rutgers. Admission is free.

  • Rutgers added Michigan graduate transfer Ross Taylor-Douglas to their team just before national signing day. Taylor-Douglas played wide receiver at Michigan, but will switch over to defensive back at Rutgers. He was a four-star defensive back recruit out of high school, and was targeted hard by current head coach Chris Ash, who was then an assistant at Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Badgers

  • Recruiting Snapshot

        Class Size: 26

        Average Player Rating: 85.03

        B1G Ranking: 6th

  • The search for a new defensive coordinator is finally over. Former Southern Cal defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox will inherit a defense that returns 7 starters that led UW to the nation’s top scoring defense and second best total defense last season. Wilcox has spent over a decade at some high level programs, and will bring that experience to Madison. He runs a 3-4, which is something that former DC Dave Arranda ran as well in his time in Madison.

  • The spring game is set for April 23rd. Tickets cost $5 and proceeds will be donated to a campus organization for the sixth straight year.