Big Ten football recruits worth watching

Big Ten football recruits worth watching

Here are 10 Big Ten football recruits in the Class of 2014 to take note of:

1. Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State. Looking for the next great linebacker for
the Buckeyes? Look no further. McMillan is the lone five-star recruit in
an otherwise loaded and deep class for Urban Meyer. The third-year coach
at Ohio State was able to convince the Georgia native to head north
despite serious attention thrown his way by Alabama and Auburn, among
others.

2. Jabril Peppers, Michigan. Brady Hoke signed one five-star recruit. This
guy. The defensive back comes from a stout high school program in Paramus
(N.J.) Catholic. Anytime a recruit makes his decision on national
television, like Peppers did, he will have high expectations follow him
until he plays in his first college game. Peppers has the ideal size to
become a lockdown corner in the league.

3. Malik McDowell, Michigan State. The defensive lineman created quite the
intrigue on signing day. He ultimately chose the conference’s best team
this past season, but it isn’t a done deal yet. He didn’t sign a letter of
intent last week and still hasn't. Mark Dantonio certainly hopes the in-state product
does, especially after the Spartans beat out the likes of Alabama, Florida
State and Michigan, among others.

4. Jalyn Holmes, Ohio State. The defensive end has the size already (6-5,
235) and skill to become a key contributor in 2014. Imagine what he might
be like in 2016 or 2017, and Big Ten coaches probably shudder at the
thought. The Virginia native picked Ohio State ahead of offers from nearly
every ACC school and a majority of SEC teams, another clear reason why the
Buckeyes had the league’s top class.

5. Taiwan Deal, Wisconsin.
He’s a running back. Heading to Madison.
Translation? He’ll be a big deal in a few years. Or maybe next fall. Gary
Andersen’s offense continues the tradition of Bret Bielema and Barry
Alvarez. Standout running backs for Bucky’s favorite school have a way of
making their name known across the country. The DeMatha (Md.) Catholic
High School product is next in line.

6. Clayton Thorson, Northwestern.
The nation’s top quarterbacks are
finding their future homes outside of Jim Delaney’s league. Namely the
ACC, SEC and Pac-12. Thorson chose to stay close to home. The Wheaton
North product could thrive in Pat Fitzgerald’s spread-option system if
given the chance. His strong arm, size and ability to keep plays alive
with his feet are all positives.

7. Jeff Jones, Minnesota. Jerry Kill was probably relieved when Jones’
letter of intent arrived in Minneapolis. The in-state prospect, who played
his high school football a few miles away from the Golden Gophers’ home
field at TCF Bank Stadium, flirted with other schools throughout the
recruiting process but stuck with Minnesota when it was all said and done.

8. Michael O’Connor, Penn State. Whenever Christian Hackenberg decides to
leave State College, the Nittany Lions have his replacement lined up.
O’Connor (6-5, 223) fits the mold of a traditional pocket passer. Bill
O’Brien isn’t around to refine O’Connor’s skills, but it indicated the
type of success James Franklin might have that he was able to keep
O’Connor without any drama.

9. Dominique Booth, Indiana. One of the state’s top wideouts chose to have
faith in Kevin Wilson despite his 10-26 record in three years with the
Hoosiers. But Wilson has shown improvement every season, and his
high-octane offense is a big reason why. Booth found the system attractive
to his skill set, and the Indianapolis native could contribute right away
in Bloomington.

10. Craig Evans, Michigan State. Finding quality defensive tackles out of
high school is a major challenge for every college coach. And luring one
away from the homestate school, like Michigan State did to Wisconsin with
the late flip from Evans, is another challenge. But the Spartans passed.
How well Michigan State’s defense played in 2013 is an easy selling point.
One Evans latched on to.

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