Big Ten Rankings (12/13/02)

Turner and Illini #5

Here's a look at the Big Ten recruiting race with eight weeks to go until signing day 2003. Michigan still holds the #1 spot but things can change quickly.

Big Ten Rankings – 12/13/02

1. Michigan

The Wolverines just keep rolling with the commitment of Vista, California defensive back Leon Hall. Does anyone have a better pair of verbally committed quarterbacks than Michigan?

2. Ohio State

The Buckeyes have a couple of verbally committed prospects visiting Florida this weekend. Louis Irizarry and David Patterson should end up signing with Ohio State in February. Can the Bucks grab the top spot from Michigan with a late January rush?

3. Wisconsin

Barry Alvarez has recruited solid talent all year long and its showing. Illinois wide receiver Brandon Tobias is the latest verbal commitment for the Badgers. The next two weekends will be huge for the Wisconsin staff as several top recruits will be in Madison for official visits.

4. Penn State

Rumor has it that verbally committed running back Jason Evans is looking hard at Oklahoma. Larry Johnson being a finalist for the Heisman Trophy may keep Evans in Happy Valley.

5. Illinois

Illinois continues to load up on offensive lineman. National recruit, Martin O'Donnell decided to stay home and play for the Fighting Illini. Brad Bower and Pierre Thomas are show stoppers, can Ron Turner get the signature of All-American and Illinois native Moe Dampeer?

6. Iowa

Texas wide receiver Champ Davis and New York defensive tackle George Eshareturi are the latest verbal commitments for Kirk Ferentz and the Hawks. Big weekend for Iowa as they host Illinois All-Americans Tommy Zbikowski and Mike Jones.

7. Purdue

Verbal commitment count remains at 12 for Tiller's Boilermakers and a big boost in the rankings could come if they get verbal commitments from a pair of Michigan blue-chippers, Doug Van Dyke and Garrett Bushong.

8. Northwestern

Three more commitments last weekend for Randy Walker. Athlete Mark Koehn (Newton, KS), defensive tackle Trevor Schultz (Battle Creek, MI) and wide receiver Nick Roach (Milwaukee, WI) all pledged the Wildcats. Northwestern won't have any official visitors the next two weeks because the students are home for the holidays. January will be a big month for Walker and his staff.

9. Minnesota

There's a ton of talent in Minnesota but most of it is leaving the state for Notre Dame and other top programs. Glen Mason has some solid verbal commitments and if Florida quarterback Pete Martinsen signs with the Gophers in February, they could see a boost in the rankings as well.

10. Michigan State

The longer they wait to name a coach in East Lansing, the more its going to hurt their recruiting efforts. There are several talented prospects waiting for State to name a coach. Top in-state talent Lamarr Woodley and Jerome Jackson could give the Spartans a hard look if the right coach is hired. De-committed tight end, Garrett Bushong, says he's leaning towards Purdue.

11. Indiana

Gerry DiNardo receives a verbal commitment from St. Louis (Parkway West) defensive back Will Meyers. There are still some solid prospects looking at the Hoosiers including Kevin Mitchell, Dave Shinskie, Brian Faires and Justin Hartig.

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