Badgers Off to Fast Start
The Wisconsin Badgers have been labeled as one of those teams who do "more with less" when it comes to recruiting, but after an excellent 2011 season, the Badgers are off to a blistering start in their 2012 recruiting class.
Head coach Bret Bielema and his crew scored a big one over the weekend with four-star linebacker Vince Biegel, the top player in their home state. He adds to a class that includes the state's current 2nd ranked player, Kenosha Bradford running back Vonte Jackson, and four-star guard Dan Voltz from Illinois.
Biegel and Voltz were both national type recruits who were among the top performers at January's U.S. Army Junior Combine and both had offers from several other BCS schools.
The Badgers are still in it for some other national type prospects. Four-star safety D.J. Singleton was in Madison for the spring game, and four-star tight end Colin Thompson also has Wisconsin near the top of his list. If Bielema and company can continue this hot streak, this could shape up to be quite the class.
Also consider this. The state of Wisconsin may not seem as strong right now, but in past years, the Badgers seemingly plucked scholarship players out of nowhere at their camp. Guys like Frederick Willis, Travis Frederick, Dallas Lewallen, etc., were all unknowns until they went to Badger camp. You can bet that a few local kids will emerge in the month of June and end up on the commit list.
Wolverines Pick up Two
Michigan had a very Good Friday, as they landed two highly regarded tight ends in Devin Funchess (Farmington Hills Harrison, MI) and A.J. Williams (Cincinnati Sycamore, OH).
The 6'5, 210-lb Funchess is currently a four-star prospect, while the 6'6, 270-lb Williams is a Scout 300 member. The Wolverines plan to use the tight end more now, and these two should be good complements to one another.
Another factor? Funchess may play some wide receiver. The Wolverines currently lead for Southfield (Mich.) tight end Ron Thompson, and Michigan would certainly take all three players in this class. In fact, Michigan coaches were at Southfield High today checking in with the 6'4, 225-lb Thompson.
Spartans Are Close
Michigan State fans waiting for the Spartans to land a first commitment may not have to wait long as we believe the Spartans are on the verge, and the first one may even happen at this weekend's spring game.
The best candidates, as we see, are guard prospects Benny McGowan and Zach Higgins, who both have Spartan offers and are expected to be in East Lansing.
The spring game should also have some other touted prospects as Detroit King's Dennis Norfleet, Traverse City St. Francis' Riley Bullough, and Mount Carmel (IL) defensive tackle Vontrell Williams are among the expected attendees.
Buckeyes Host a Crowd
Offensive tackle Kyle Dodson, wide receiver Frank Epitropoulos, defensive end Se'Von Pittman, and guard Zach Higgins were among the top in-state prospects at Ohio State's spring game.
Epitropoulos and Pittman both hold offers, and Dodson and Higgins are certainly offer candidates, especially Dodson. Throw in Florida safety Jordan Diggs, and one of the Midwest's top sophomores, Detroit Cass Tech OT David Dawson, and there was a lot of talent in Columbus.
Scout's Bill Greene caught up with Diggs for a video interview, spoke to Dodson about a possible offer, ditto for Higgins, and recapped the game with Pittman.
Bearcats Off and Running
Cincinnati has done well in the past few weeks, securing several commitments, the newest being Kentucky product Drake Bruns and in-state running back-defensive back Marcus Foster.
Butch Jones and company now have six verbal commitments, all from areas the school has traditionally done very well in. That they have two verbals from players at powerhouse Warren Central in Indianapolis, is a great sign, and the Bearcats are recruiting their home turf very well.
We especially like what they've pulled in on the defensive line, with pass rusher Josh Posley and 6'6, 255-lb Ryan Leahy.
Okemos (Mich.) offensive tackle Taylor Moton has added offers from Toledo and Ball State.
Arizona State is the latest school to begin showing interest in Plymouth (Mich.) tackle Robert Riche, and the Sun Devils may soon offer.
Crete-Monee (Ill.) CB Anthony Standifer has added an offer from Bowling Green. As we reported last week, his previously reported Michigan offer was a tad premature, but the Wolverines are showing strong interest.
Southfield-Lathrup (Mich.) LB Jamal Lyles was offered by Cincinnati Friday. He could also project to wide receiver or tight end.
North Canton Hoover (Ohio) quarterback Austin Appleby was offered by Akron. He attended Ohio State's spring game.