2011 Big Ten Recruiting Rankings (As of 12/5)
1. Ohio State – Status quo, still.
2. Nebraska – Jackson is a very good get.
3. Notre Dame – The loss of Justice Hayes stings a bit.
4. Michigan State – No action for the second straight month.
5. Wisconsin – Follows up a nice October with a great November.
6. Iowa – Jumps Michigan.
7. Michigan – Loses Sousa and Hart (maybe?). Hopefully Dee is temporary.
8. Indiana – Two decommits and the firing of the coach; not the best month.
9. Northwestern – Two losses in the class, but still solid.
10. Minnesota – Despite their poor record and firing of Brewster, they actually have an OK class.
11. Illinois – Pretty meh for a Zooker class.
12. Purdue – Had a decent month.
13. Penn State – They had a good July, but have struggled since.
The Wisconsin Badgers had a good November, following up their impressive October. Tight end/defensive end Austin Traylor was probably the best get for Bucky in November. During his senior year Traylor had 99 tackles and 10 sacks on the defensive side of the ball. Offensively he had 639 yards receiving and five TD’s as a tight end. In Madison he will be a tight end. Austin has offers from Arizona, Boston College, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State and West Virginia among others. Hard – nosed linebacker Derek Watt is the brother of current Badger J.J. Derek was a verbal commit to Northwestern before receiving and accepting the offer from Wisconsin. It is a gray shirt offer, but that was good enough for Watt. Cornerback Darius Hillary is a really good looking athlete. He played returner, corner and safety for his school, but will be a corner in college. He looks pretty good in run support and is a solid tackler. He also has offers from Boston College, UConn, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Stanford among others.
Recruiting had been slow since July for Purdue, but things sped up a little in November with verbal commits from three kids. Akeem Hunt is a very nice looking running back, who will fit in great with Purdue’s scheme. Hunt has a nice combo of vision and balance. And he also has great hands for a running back. Hunt chose the Boilers over Auburn, Minnesota, South Carolina, Wake Forest and Wisconsin. Doug Gentry should be a great complement to the shifty Hunt. Gentry has a little wiggle to his game as well and runs with pretty good balance and power. During his sophomore and junior seasons Doug combined for nearly 3,700 yards rushing and had 39 touchdowns. He also has an offer from Georgia Tech. Wrapping up Purdue’s November is wideout Shane Mikesky. The 6’4” Mikesky is a decent blocker and also has pretty good speed. He’s a bit of a sleeper, but looks like a good athlete with some promise.
Nebraska continues to roll in recruiting, gaining verbals from highly rated cornerback Charles Jackson and Indiana decommit Max Pirman. Jackson, an Army All-American, possesses very good hips and feet to go along with his excellent speed and size. He is a very aggressive corner who has a world of upside. Charles also has offers from Arkansas, California, Florida, Michigan and Oklahoma among others. Pirman is a little raw and needs to bulk up, but has good potential. He will be a defensive end in Lincoln.
Penn State ended its couple month drought, adding three prospects. Receiver is a priority and PSU cashed in with Allen Robinson and Matt Zanellato. Robinson (former teammate of PSU’s Robert Bolden) has good hands and does a great job of using his size. During his senior season he racked up 653 yards and eight scores. Allen could make the switch to one of the safety positions in Happy Valley. Zanellato is an under the radar prospect, but has some nice skills. At 6’4” he uses his size and jumping ability very well. He looks to be a good possession type guy and a dangerous red zone threat. Anthony Alosi is another sleeper recruit for PSU. He could be used as a defensive lineman, but his strengths could be used better as an offensive lineman.
Conner Crowell was Ohio State’s one verbal in November. Crowell is a very active linebacker who is very quick and plays well in space. Unfortunately for Conner, he suffered a broken ankle that will require surgery and months of time on the sideline. As a junior he accounted for 100 tackles and 4 int’s. Crowell also has offers from UConn, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and West Virginia among others.
Iowa got an upgrade in their defense when Nicholas Law joined the class. Law is a nice looking prospect at 6’3″ and runs a 4.4 40. He is an explosive player who plays both safety and linebacker for his school. He is a very physical kid who could excel at either position. Michigan tried to get in on Law late in the game, but he chose the Hawkeyes shortly after. He also has offers from Maryland, Cincinnati, Michigan State, Illinois and North Carolina State among others.
Texas running back Cam McDaniel has drawn some comparisons in former Wolverine Sam McGuffie. The Notre Dame verbal pledge is not quite as flashy as McGuffie, but is much more physical. He also does a great job catching the football, giving him the possibility of lining up in the slot as well. As a senior McDaniel racked up 1,906 rushing yards to go along with 32 touchdowns. He also added 492 yards and 3 TD’s receiving.
Illinois lone verbal is athlete Tyler Marcordes. At a camp this summer in Illinois Marcordes tried out at linebacker, h-back and tight end and showed potential in all three. At nearly 6’4″ and 235 lbs., Tyler runs the 40 in an impressive 4.65. Marcordes is a very versitile football player who has a bunch of upside. He also has offers from Georgia Tech, Illinois State and Northern Illinois.
The decommitment bug hit four teams in the month of November. Indiana (Raymon Taylor and Max Pirman), Iowa (JaCorey Shepard and Melvin Gordon), Northwestern (Derek Watt and Sean Cotton) and Notre Dame (Justice Hayes) all had kids who decided to rethink things a little.