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OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

After falling to #2 in the rankings, the Michigan Wolverines received some more disappointment over the weekend as they fell 17-16 on a last second field goal to the 25th ranked Penn State Nittany Lions. This loss opened up the B1G East and set up a potential deciding game in the final week between Michigan and long time rival and 7th ranked, Ohio State.

SOMEONE HAS GOTTA DO IT

As the AFC North tries to figure out who really wants to win the division and play in the playoffs, the battle heats up as Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Baltimore all win their respective games. The Pittsburgh Steelers will play Monday night to see if they can remain tied with Baltimore for the lead at 6-6.

STARS OF TOMORROW

Recruiting season begins to wind down but there are still some major decisions to be made as teams look to fill out their classes. Will these players be able to live up to the hype? Or will they crumble under the pressure of expectations. Stay tuned to find out.

EASTBOUND AND DOWN

The battle for the NFC East remains hot as well, for all the right reasons as both the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys picked up wins on Sunday. The Eagles beat the Falcons 31-28 and the Cowboys beat the Panthers 31-20, making the NFC South a bloodbath as well as the league heads towards the playoffs.
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    Big Ten News

    [2021] B1G Recruiting Recap - 1st Signing Period

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    Recruiting Review

     

     

    :maryland: Maryland :maryland:

    Class ranking: Big Ten - #1, National - #14

    Commitments - 7

    OT Joel Bragg 6-2 330 Fr John Carroll (Bel Air MD) 2.0 of 5.0 [Run Blocking]

    DT DeMarco Pitts 6-0 329 Fr Northwest (Germantown MD) 2.5 of 4.5 [2-Gap]

    WR Rafael Barajas 6-1 184 Fr Northwestern (Hyattsville MD) 1.0 of 4.5 [Speed]

    DE Tyus Floyd 6-0 257 Fr Williamsport (Williamsport MD) 1.5 of 4.0 [Blitz]

    WR Ray Jay Townsend 6-2 228 Fr Suitland (District Heights MD) 2.0 of 3.5 [Target]

    OT Marc McAfee 6-6 293 Fr Southern (Oakland MD) 1.0 of 3.5 [Run Blocking]

    CB Delvin Bennett 5-10 163 Fr Menchville (Newport News VA) 1.5 of 3.5 [Man Coverage]

     

    After the first week of signings, the Terrapins lay claim to the top spot in the Big Ten class rankings. Coach TheSam was able to convince seven high school seniors to sign on the dotted line. This batch of recruits is highlighted by stud offensive tackle, Joel Bragg. Bragg was a highly sought after recruit before ultimately deciding to commit to Maryland. It will be interesting to see if Coach TheSam will plug Bragg into one of the tackle spots as a true freshman or if he will be looking to redshirt him and give him some time to develop. The Terrapins also added a terrific defensive tackle in DeMarco Pitts who could also be a key contributor as a true freshman. Wide Receiver Rafael Barajas is another strong addition to the class. Maryland will lose three of the their top four receivers to graduation, but Barajas could still be a candidate to redshirt.

     

    :minnesota: Minnesota :minnesota:

    Class ranking: Big Ten - #2, National - #17

    Commitments - 5

    DE Malachi Pickett 6-0 249 Fr Mayer Lutheran (Mayer MN) 2.0 of 5.0 [Blitz]

    QB Brandon Murphy 6-6 205 Fr Rushford-Peterson High School (Rushford MN) 1.5 of 4.5 [Hybrid]

    WR Marquise Donaldson 6-5 221 Fr Belle Plaine (Belle Plaine MN) 1.0 of 4.5 [Target]

    WR Alex Masters 6-3 156 Fr Benson Christian (Benson MN) 2.0 of 4.0 [Speed]

    FB Angelo Layton 6-0 254 Fr Belle Plaine (Belle Plaine MN) 1.0 of 3.5 [Run Blocking]

     

    Coming in at #2 in the Big Ten, and not far behind nationally, are the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Coach lucas95 was able to garner commitments from five future Gophers. Leading the way this week is defensive end, Malachi Pickett. Pickett is a tremendous rusher and was a key target for many schools. Ultimately the home state Gophers won out with the prized recruit. The Gophers don’t have a ton of depth at the defensive end position, so Malachi could see significant playing time next season. Minnesota also secured a commitment from quarterback Brandon Murphy. Given the depth at the QB position, Murphy will likely redshirt as a freshman. The Gophers also added two wide receivers to their recruiting class. Wide receiver is arguably the deepest position at Minnesota so it won’t be surprising to see both players redshirt their first season.

     

    :msu: Michigan State :msu:

    Class ranking: Big Ten - #3, National - #20

    Commitments - 6

    C Manuel Ochoa 6-1 262 Fr Bentley (Burton MI) 1.0 of 5.0 [Run Blocking]

    LS Emmanuel Key 6-1 261 Fr Holland Christian (Holland MI) 1.0 of 5.0 [Specialized]

    WR Damian Metz 6-2 151 Fr Brandywine (Niles MI) 1.0 of 4.5 [Speed]

    OT Bob Hooper 6-2 269 Fr Blanchester (Blanchester OH) 1.0 of 3.5 [Run Blocking]

    FS Damon Henley 6-1 207 Fr Blissfield (Blissfield MI) 1.0 of 3.5 [Zone Coverage]

    CB Antowaine Pearson 5-11 173 Fr Hudson Area (Hudson MI) 1.0 of 3.5 [Zone Coverage]

     

    The Spartan faithful in East Lansing are likely pleased with the start to this year's recruiting cycle. Coack SlinkyJr addressed two areas of need with the signing of center Manuel Ochoa and wide receiver Damien Metz. The Spartans are lacking many pieces on the offensive line so Ochoa will be a welcome addition. We bet current Spartan QB, Kyle Davidson, wishes Ochoa could suit up and play right now. In addition to Ochoa and Metz, the Spartans signed several players who may not be superstars, but figure to be contributors during their time in East Lansing.

     

    :wisconsin: Wisconsin :wisconsin:

    Class ranking: Big Ten - #4, National - #40

    Commitments - 2

    DE Andrew Rowe 6-3 266 Fr Cedar Grove-Belgium (Cedar Grove WI) 1.0 of 4.5 [Blitz]

    OLB Tyler Dewey 6-1 229 Fr East Peoria Community ( IL) 1.0 of 4.5 [Blitz]

     

    It was all defense this week for the Badgers and Coach taffyowner. Only two players pledged their commitment to Wisconsin, but they figure to be key pieces for many years to come. Both defensive end Andrew Rowe and linebacker Tyler Dewey, are aggressive rushers who love to get after the ball and make big plays. Both could likely make a difference as freshman if the Badgers decide to skip redshirting them.

     

    :nebraska: Nebraska :nebraska: 

    Class ranking: Big Ten - #5, National - #47

    Commitments - 4

    OLB Peter Amador Jr. 6-1 239 Fr Aurora (Aurora NE) 1.0 of 4.5 [Coverage]

    OT Christian Foss 6-5 287 Fr Benson (Omaha NE) 1.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking]

    WR Tristan Vaughn 6-1 216 Fr Millard North (Omaha NE) 1.0 of 3.5 [Target]

    FS Troy Mack 5-10 198 Fr Holy Cross (Flushing NY) 1.5 of 3.5 [Man Coverage]

     

    Coming in at #5 in the Big Ten is the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Coach Dean_Craig_Pelton signed four recruits this week led by linebacker Peter Amador Jr. and offensive tackle Christian Foss. Amador will likely be the best linebacker on Nebraska when he arrives in Lincoln next fall. A redshirt season may help in his development, but it will be difficult to keep him off the field. Foss looks to be a quality addition to an already strong offensive line. A redshirt season and time to develop seems to be the likely route for Foss.

     

    :rutgers: Rutgers :rutgers:

    Class ranking: Big Ten - #6, National - #58

    Commitments - 4

    QB Omari Ricks-Hargrove 6-0 222 Fr Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey NJ) 1.0 of 5.0 [Scrambling]

    TE Hakeem Bushrod 6-1 210 Fr Dwight Englewood (Englewood NJ) 1.0 of 3.0 [Receiving]

    TE Milo Denney 6-3 236 Fr Northwest (Germantown MD) 1.0 of 3.0 [Blocking]

    DT Jeremiah McAfee 6-6 330 Fr Montville Township (Montville NJ) 1.0 of 3.0 [2-Gap]

     

    It’s been reported that when the NLI’s started to come through the fax machine, Rutgers Head Coach, vollmagnet, jumped up on the table and screamed at the top of his lungs. The reason? Don Bosco Prep QB, Omari Ricks-Hargrove faxed in his NLI sealing his commitment to the Scarlet Knights. Ricks-Hargrove, one of the top quarterbacks in this recruiting class, is certainly the heir apparent to current QB, Blair Sullivan. Coach vollmagnet will be hoping that Sullivan returns for his senior year allowing Ricks-Hargrove a year to develop. The Scarlet Knights followed up this huge commitment with three other commitments. These players may contribute some, but as of now, look to be more depth players than everyday contributors.

     

    :michigan: Michigan :michigan:

    Class ranking: Big Ten - #7, National - #59

    Commitments - 1

    DT Mason Ragland 6-6 312 Fr Hudson Area (Hudson MI) 2.5 of 5.0 [1-Gap]

     

    It wasn’t a very busy recruiting week for the Wolverines, signing only one recruit, but the recruit that was signed is a good one. Defensive tackle Mason Ragland pledged his commitment to the Wolverines and will be spending his next four years in Ann Arbor. Ragland, all 6 foot 6 inches and 312 pounds of him, will likely see the field from day one. The Wolverines will be losing their current stud defensive tackle, Joshua Thurman, and there wasn't anyone of Thurman's caliber waiting in the wings, until now. With the Wolverines being one of the top teams in the nation, Coach jmjacobs will certainly be looking to add more to this recruiting class.

     

    :nw: Northwestern :nw:

    Class ranking: Big Ten - #8, National - #62

    Commitments - 3

    C Tyus Bridges 6-1 242 Fr East Peoria Community ( IL) 1.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking]

    QB Nicola Rossi 6-2 234 Fr Driscoll Catholic (Addison IL) 1.0 of 4.0 [Hybrid]

    FS Alex Harley 6-2 217 Fr East Peoria Community ( IL) 1.0 of 4.0 [Man Coverage]

     

    Although the Wildcats check in at #8 in the Big Ten and #62 nationally, Coach robcarlson77 was very pleased with the three commitments he received. Coming off a 1-11 season, the coach set out trying to strengthen and add depth to several positions. Despite an abysmal season, Northwestern was able to secure commitments from three players. Leading the way was center Tyus Bridges. At the end of this season. the Wildcats will lose four of five starting lineman, including their starting center so securing Bridges was a main goal of the Northwestern staff. There is a good chance that Bridges will skip a redshirt year and is the starting center for E.J. McGuire in the fall. Speaking of McGuire, Northwestern looks to have found his replacement, securing a commitment from quarterback Nicola Rossi. Coach robcarlson77 will pray that McGuire returns for his senior season allowing Rossi to redshirt his freshman year.

     

    :PSU: Penn State :PSU:

    Class ranking: Big Ten - #9, National - #64

    Commitments - 2

    WR Antoine Barrow 6-3 231 Fr Penn Cambria (Cresson PA) 1.0 of 4.5 [Target]

    SS Mekhi Phillips 5-10 182 Fr Annville Cleona (Annville PA) 1.0 of 3.5 [Zone Coverage]

     

    The defending National Champions had a quiet start to the recruitment cycle securing commitments from two players. The big signing came from in-state wide receiver, Antoine Barrow. Penn State is losing their top two receiving threats, but has some depth at the position. Barrow could end up redshirting allowing him to get acclimated to Big Ten football. Nittany Lion head coach, grv413, will certainly be looking to add more commitments and could be near the top of the conference when all is said and done.

     

    :illinois: Illinois :illinois:

    Class ranking: Big Ten - #10, National - #71

    Commitments - 4

    WR Dylan Rice 6-2 188 Fr John Marshall (Chicago IL) 1.0 of 4.0 [Speed]

    OG Graham Martino 6-4 311 Fr Wheaton North (Wheaton IL) 1.0 of 3.5 [Pass Blocking]

    OG Vince Platt 6-2 279 Fr Bolingbrook (Bolingbrook IL) 1.0 of 3.5 [Pass Blocking]

    WR Jake Snell 6-0 222 Fr Rich South (Richton Park IL) 1.5 of 3.5 [Target]

     

    It’s not often that you will see Northwestern rated higher than Illinois in anything, so enjoy it while it lasts Wildcat fans. The Illini secured four commitments this week, but several of these players look to be depth additions for Coach FlutieFlakes. Wide receiver Dylan Rice is the highest rated player to sign with Illinois, but will likely redshirt his first year in Champaign. The other three signings will likely contribute at some point, but we will have to wait and see to what extent.

     

    :purdue: Purdue :purdue:

    Class ranking: Big Ten - #11, National - #97

    Commitments - 2

    OT Joseph Rowell 6-7 307 Fr T.A. Edison (Lake Station IN) 1.0 of 3.5 [Pass Blocking]

    WR Damien Dillard 6-2 199 Fr Holy Cross (River Grove IL) 1.0 of 3.5 [Speed]

     

    Serving as the caboose this week (see what I did there?) are the Purdue Boilermakers. Coach inspiral signed two players on the offensive side of the ball. Both recruits will add some depth to the Purdue team and will be able step in and contribute if needed. Both players will likely redshirt as they need time to develop further.

     

    No signings: Indiana :indiana:, Iowa :iowa:, Ohio State :osu:


    **Bold indicates a key commitment**

     

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