A Chat with Vonte Jackson

Vonte Jackson is probably the top prospect in the Badger State for the 2012 recruiting season. Michigan will probably be looking for one running back in this class and they have made Mr. Jackson a priority.

Sean O’Connell: What offers do you have so far?

Vonte Jackson: "Wisconsin, Iowa, Northwestern, Michigan State, Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan."

Sean O’Connell: When you look ahead to making your decision, what will factor in most?

Vonte Jackson: "Academics, the opportunity to get on the field,  a school that can win a championship and trust in the staff."

Sean O’Connell: So you played with Melvin Gordon for a few years, are you guys pretty tight?

Vonte Jackson: "Yes, we are good friends."

Sean O’Connell: Did you learn anything from watching him?

Vonte Jackson: "How to take on the recruiting process."

Sean O’Connell: Did you grow up a Wisconsin fan? If so, will it factor into your choice?

Vonte Jackson: "I wasn’t too much into college growing up, it was much more pro football. So it shouldn’t."

Sean O’Connell: Do you have a top 5 or 10 yet?

Vonte Jackson: "There are all pretty much even. Some may have a slight edge right now, but there are still some schools I’ve had yet to visit."

Continue reading “A Chat with Vonte Jackson”

A Chat with Dan Voltz

Michigan only inked  two offensive linemen in their 2011 recruiting class. Therefore, the coaches will be hitting that area very hard for 2012, possibly taking 5 kids. Illinois guard Dan Voltz is one of the Wolverine’s early targets and he recently answered a few questions about his recruitment for UMGoBlog.Rivals.com

Sean O’Connell: How many offers do you hold?

Dan Voltz: “I currently hold 16 offers. They are from Arizona, Boston College, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Purdue, Stanford, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Western Michigan, and Wisconsin.”

Sean O’Connell: What are your top three factors when looking at schools?

Dan Voltz: “Football tradition, academics, and campus.”

Sean O’Connell: Does location matter?

Dan Voltz: “Location does matter. I am a big midwest guy and would love to play football in the midwest. But if there is a school outside of the midwest that I like, I won’t hesitate to look at it.”

Sean O’Connell: Do you have a school you grew up cheering for?  If so will that factor into your decision?

Continue reading “A Chat with Dan Voltz”

Adversary Recruiting (January)

Adversary Recruiting for January, 2011. Big Ten Football Recruiting

2011 Big Ten Recruiting Rankings (As of 1-1-11)

1 Ohio State University Banner Status quo, still, again. LB Shazier was a nice Christmas gift. 8 University of Illinois Banner A busy December catapults the Illini.
2 University of Notre Dame Banner Hops over Nebraska with a solid December. 9 Northwestern 3x5 Flag Decent month.
3 University of Nebraska Banner Two decommits in December. 10 Indiana University Banner Has been sinking like a stone recently.
4 University of Iowa Banner Up one spot for the second straight month. 11 Penn State University Banner Out of the cellar. Zettel was a big get.
5 University of Michigan Banner A good month amid much turmoil. 12 Purdue University Banner Holding at #12.
6 University of Wisconsin Banner An 11-1 season is doing well for them. 13 University of Minnesota Banner Had a decent December, but not much quality.
7 Michigan State University Banner Slow month for Sparty.      

December was a rather busy month recruiting wise in the Big Ten, with Illinois leading the way. The Illini had their best monthKenny Knight - Rivals.com recruiting so far, as The Fighting Zookers gained verbal commits from eight prospects. Athlete Dondi Kirby is the highest rated of the six and will end up somewhere in the Illini defensive backfield. Standing 6’3”, Kirby actually has decent skills at the corner position although most project him as a safety. He is a very aggressive tackler who does a great job in run support. Dondi did not play during the 2010 season because of a torn ACL. He also had offers from Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State and USC among others. Patrick Flavin was another big get for Illinois. Having offers from schools such as Cal, Boston College, Iowa and Oregon, Falvin is a perfect offensive lineman for the Illini offense. He is pretty quick, has good feet and can get to the second level very well. Patrick will need a redshirt to fill out, but he should be a constant on the o-line for years to come. Athlete Matt LaCosse is a very versatile athlete who could play either quarterback or tight end. He will more than likely play tight end in Champaign. At 6’6” 220lbs and running a 4.6, LaCosse will be a nightmare matchup for any linebacker or safety. The former Minnesota verbal also has offers from Cincinnati, Louisville, Memphis and Purdue among others. Illinois also received verbals from linebacker Ralph Cooper, safety Nick North, wide outs Kenny Knight and Jeremy Whitlow and defensive ends Kenny Nelson and Emmanuel Bawa.

Name Position Location High School
Kenny Knight Wide Receiver Beverly Hills, MI Country Day ratingratingrating ratingratingrating ratingratingrating
Jeremy Whitlow Wide Receiver Cleveland, OH Central Catholic ratingratingrating ratingrating
Patrick Flavin Offensive Tackle Lisle, IL Benet Academy ratingratingrating ratingratingrating ratingratingrating
Emmanuel Bawa Defensive End Hyattsville, MD Northwestern ratingratingrating ratingrating ratingratingrating
Kenny Nelson Defensive End Detroit, MI Cass Tech ratingrating
Ralph Cooper Linebacker Winnsboro, SC Fairfield Central ratingratingrating ratingratingrating ratingratingrating
Dondi Kirby Athlete Monroeville, PA Gateway ratingratingrating ratingratingratingrating ratingratingratingrating
Nick North Safety Hollywood, FL McArthur ratingratingrating ratingrating ratingratingrating

Minnesota After nearly three months, Minnesota received a slew of verbals in December. Eight prospects gave new coach Jerry Kill verbal pledges during the past month. Coach Kill is going the JC and prep school route, making it clear that the Gophers want to get players in that can see the field quickly. The two most likely to step in right away are big wide out Ge’Shun Harris and super speedy and aggressive safety Drayquan Crawford.

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx2f7ebSiSA[/tube]

Continue reading “Adversary Recruiting (January)”

Adversary Recruiting (December)

Big Ten Recruiting For The Month of December

2011 Big Ten Recruiting Rankings (As of 12/5)

1 Ohio State University Banner Status quo, still. 7 University of Michigan Banner Loses Sousa and Hart (maybe?). Hopefully Dee is temporary.
2 University of Nebraska Banner Jackson is a very good get. 8 Indiana University Banner Two decommits and the firing of the coach; not the best month.
3 University of Notre Dame Banner The loss of Justice Hayes stings a bit. 9 Northwestern 3x5 Flag Two losses in the class, but still solid.
4 Michigan State University Banner No action for the second straight month. 10 University of Minnesota Banner Despite their poor record and firing of Brewster, they actually have an OK class.
5 University of Wisconsin Banner Follows up a nice October with a great November. 11 University of Illinois Banner Pretty meh for a Zooker class.
6 University of Iowa Banner Jumps Michigan. 12 Purdue University Banner Had a decent month.
      13 Penn State University Banner They had a good July, but have struggled since.

WisconsinThe 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.

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPIBIOLKIjs[/tube]

Player High School
Austin Traylor Walnut Ridge H.S. ratingratingrating ratingratingratingrating ratingratingratingrating
Derek Watt Pewaukee H.S. ratingratingrating ratingratingrating ratingratingrating
Darius Hillary Sycamore H.S. ratingratingrating ratingratingrating ratingratingrating

Purdue 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.

[tube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDo_A-R8aYw[/tube]

Player High School
Doug Gentry Mexia H.S. ratingratingrating ratingratingrating
Akeem Hunt Newton H.S. ratingratingrating ratingratingrating ratingratingrating
Shane Mikesky Zionsville H.S. ratingratingrating ratingrating

Logo 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.

Continue reading “Adversary Recruiting (December)”

Adversary Recruiting (December)

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.

Player High School
Austin Traylor        
Derek Watt        
Darius Hillary        

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.