Ohio State, Michigan lead Big Ten recruiting class rankings


Ohio State, Michigan lead Big Ten recruiting class rankings

The Big 10 continues to chase the SEC in the all-important and never-ending recruiting sweepstakes. But new coaching regimes suggest that Ohio State and Michigan are making a determined bid to close the gap.

In the old days, football recruiting in the Big 10 was known as Ohio State, Michigan and the eight dwarfs. They were the first schools in the conference to recruit on a national scale and the others fell woefully behind. The Ohio StateMichigan rivalry got bigger and bigger.

Penn State and Nebraska, two perennial national powers before they joined the Big 10, boosted the conference's reputation. And, as other schools looked at the map and discovered how to travel to Florida, Texas, California and other warmer climates where high school football is king, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Illinois began to make statements.

So what happened? Ohio State and Michigan are a solid 1-2 in Big 10 recruiting this season but no other school is even in the conversation. As usual, the SEC is dominating the recruiting sweepstakes and the Pac-12, Big 12 and even the basketball-happy ACC are putting the Big 10 to shame.

How about this statistic?

Ohio State has signed six while Michigan has four of the nation's top 100 players in the class of 2012, according to recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS College Sports. Wisconsin has two, Nebraska and Minnesota one each.

"The SEC dominates recruiting because they offer more scholarships and they pay their assistant coaches so they attract the best recruiters in the nation," Lemming said. "Until the Big 10 starts to be competitive in the salary market with the SEC, it will continue to fall behind."

But there is no doubt that new coaches Urban Meyer of Ohio State and Brady Hoke of Michigan are having an immediate impact in national recruiting and will force rival coaches in the Big 10 to pick up the pace or look for other work.

"Urban Meyer has turned everything around at Ohio State. His impact is almost immeasurable," Lemming said. "Ohio State was dead in the water recruiting-wise because of the (Jim Tressel) scandal. Now they have one of the top five recruiting classes in the nation. There is no other reason besides Meyer. He has breathed life into a dead program, one that was waiting for the NCAA hammer to fall.

"Meyer's name precedes him. His accomplishments precede him. Then he has an aggressive personality and a relentless style of recruiting. He and (Alabama coach) Nick Saban have a relentless style of recruiting. It is no mystery why they win. Remember, recruiting is more important than coaching in college. Average coaches can win with great players. And good coaches that recruit great players win national championships."

Lemming said Brady Hoke learned a lot from former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr, his mentor. "He doesn't have Urban Meyer's name or his resume but he has the same work ethic and aggressiveness. He understands that to be successful at the college level you have to work hard and have a hard-working staff," Lemming said.

It will take longer for Tim Beckman, Illinois' new coach, to have an impact on the recruiting scene. He hasn't had time to establish his identity and his name didn't precede him to Illinois like Urban Meyer at Ohio State. In fact, he already is working hard to establish strong ties with members of the highly touted class of 2013.

"A year from now, you will know if he has the ability to recruit at the
Big 10 level," Lemming said. "He didn't have enough time to recruit when he got to Illinois. Most Illinois kids were gone. And St. Louis and Indianapolis, too. He didn't have many places to turn to. His 2012 class won't be reflective on how well he will do in the future."

Lemming rates Ohio State's 2012 class over Michigan. But he admits it is a matter of comparing apples and oranges. Some recruiting services give Michigan an edge. Lemming argues that Ohio State has more blue-chip prospects (four of the top 50 while Michigan has no one in the top 50.

Here is a look at the Big 10 recruiting classes:

1. OHIO STATE: The centerpiece of Urban Meyer's first class is DL Noah Spence, the No. 3 player in the nation. He also landed OL J.J. Denman, who de-committed from Wisconsin. And Meyer wooed DL Tommy Schutt of Glenbard West and DB Armani Reeves away from Penn State.

2. MICHIGAN: The Wolverines' top signee is DE Chris Wormley, who was defensive player of the year in Ohio. Coach Brady Hoke stayed close to home, signing 18 of his 25 recruits from Michigan and Ohio. He was pleasantly surprised to land RBKR Dennis Norfleet of Detroit at the last minute.

3. PURDUE: Remember when Purdue used to recruit heavily in the Chicago area, like Notre Dame. No longer. Coach Danny Hope signed 25 players from 12 states, including six from Florida and three from Texas. Top-rated recruits are DE Ryan Watson and OL Carlos Carvajal.

4. IOWA: Coach Kirk Ferentz went to Erie, Pennsylvania, to sign a top 100 player in RB Greg Garmon. He also did well in Illinois, getting DL Faith Ekakitie of Lake Forest Academy, OL Ryan Ward of Providence, DB Maurice Fleming of Curie, DL Jaleel Johnson of Montini and OL Mitch Keppy of Port Byron Riverdale.

5. NEBRASKA: Coach Bo Pelini scored a coup when he persuaded WR Jordan Westerkamp of Montini to honor his earlier pledge and not accept Notre Dame's tempting offer. Other standouts are DB Mohammed Selsay, OL Paul Thurston, DE Greg McMullen, LB Zaire Anderson and OT Vincent Valentine from Edwardsville.
6. MINNESOTA: The Gophers managed to keep the state's top prospect at home -- QB Philip Nelson of Mankato, who ranks as the No. 40 player in the nation. The Gophers also got LB Jack Lynn of Lake Zurich, WR Andre McDonald, WR Jamel Harbison, OL Isaac Hayes and OL Johan Pirsig.

7. MICHIGAN STATE: The Spartans got one of the best prospects in Michigan in WR Aaron Burbridge but they had more success in Ohio, Florida and Georgia. Coach Mark Dantonio is especially pleased with defensive backs Ezra Robinson, Demetrious Cox, Mark Meyers and Jermaine Edmondson.

8. NORTHWESTERN: One of coach Pat Fitzgerald's best signees is RB Malin Jones of Joliet Catholic. But DT Greg Kuhar and DE Ifeadi Odenigbo also draw rave reviews from recruiting services. Fitzgerald also got DE Dean Lowry from Rockford Boylan and WR Kyle Prater of Proviso West, a transfer from USC who was one of the nation's top-rated players in 2010.

9. WISCONSIN: The Badgers signed two top 100 players -- LB Vince Biegel of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., and QB Bart Houston of Concord, Calif. But they lost two of their top recruits -- OL J.J. Denman to Rutgers and OL Kyle Dodson to Ohio State. They also got OL Dan Voltz of Barrington.

10. PENN STATE: Despite the death of legendary coach Joe Paterno and the sex-abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, new coach Bill O'Brien and his staff did better than anticipated. They lost DL Tommy Schutt, LB Camren Williams and DB Armani Reeves to Ohio State. But they signed 19 players, including DT Jamil Pollard and WR Eugene Lewis.
11. INDIANA: The Hoosiers lost one of their top recruits, LB Mike Cotton of O'Fallon, Ill., to Northern Illinois. But they got three Illinois products -- RB Tevin Coleman of Oak Forest, OL Dan Feeney of Sandburg and LB Nick Mangieri of Dunlap.

12. ILLINOIS: Outgoing coach Ron Zook left the cupboard practically empty and incoming coach Tim Beckman will have trouble filling it with quality players. Not a four-star player in the class. Local signees are DT Vontrell Williams of Mount Carmel, WR Jason Robertson of Lincoln-Way East, OL Robert Bain of Bolingbrook and LB B.J. Bello of Lincoln-Way West.

Loyola basketball coach Porter Moser to be next featured guest on Inside Look

NBC Sports Chicago

Loyola basketball coach Porter Moser to be next featured guest on Inside Look

“Inside Look presented by Cadillac,” hosted by NBC Sports Chicago’s David Kaplan & featuring Porter Moser to debut Saturday, September 15 at 6:30 PM CT

NBC Sports Chicago live stream available on or via the NBC Sports app to provide additional web-exclusive coverage of ‘Inside Look,’ including extended video clips

Chicago, IL (September 11, 2018) – NBC Sports Chicago - THE home of the #AuthenticFan - continues to delve into the lives of some of the biggest names in Chicago sports with its candid, monthly, one-on-one interview series Inside Look presented by Cadillac.  

Debuting Saturday, September 15 at 6:30 PM CT (immediately following Cubs Postgame Live), NBC Sports Chicago’s David Kaplan hosts an exclusive one-on-one interview with the man who led Loyola University Chicago’s men’s basketball team to the pinnacle of NCAA greatness this past spring, Ramblers head coach PORTER MOSER.  NOTE: Live stream of this program will also be available at or via the NBC Sports app to authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers.

Moser, who recently signed a contract extension with the Ramblers through the 2025-26 season, was born in Naperville, IL and was a standout preps star at Benet Academy in nearby Lisle, which was followed by a successful collegiate career at Creighton University, where he helped the Bluejays to an MVC Tourney Championship and an NCAA Tourney appearance in 1989.  Following a number of post-playing career assistant coaching stints, along with head coaching positions at Arkansas-Little Rock and Illinois State, Moser was named head coach at Loyola in the spring of 2011, which ushered in a new level of success not seen in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood since 1963.

Moser’s nationally-recognized level of leadership with Loyola was officially established this past season as he led the mid-major program to a 32-6 record (15-3 in the MVC), which included winning the MVC Tournament title and automatically qualifying them for the “Big Dance.” As a #11-seed in the NCAA Tournament, Loyola’s incredible run began with upset victories over Miami-FL (#6), Tennessee (#3), Nevada (#7), along with their unforgettable win against #9 Kansas State, which sent the Ramblers to their first Final Four appearance in 55 years.  Over the past four seasons, Moser’s teams have recorded an 89-50 (.597) record and their 50 win total over the past two seasons are its most over a two-year period since posting 51 total victories during the 1962-63 & 1963-64 campaigns.

In this edition of “Inside Look,” Moser discusses everything from growing up from his early playing days in high school and college, his transition from player to coach, what the amazing run to the Final Four has meant for the university and mid-major programs in general, along with his vision for Loyola’s future, and much more.   

NBC Sports Chicago will also re-air Inside Look with Porter Moser on the following dates/times: Wed, Sept. 19 at 7:30 PM - Thu, Sept. 20 at 11:30 PM - Sat, Sept. 22 at 9:30 PM - Mon, Sept. 24 at 11:30 PM - Fri, Sept. 28 at 3:00 PM (on NBC Sports Chicago+) & Sat, Sept. 30 at 5:30 PM (Schedule subject to change). In addition, viewers are urged to check out for additional interview footage of the Moser interview, along with an archive of past Inside Look guests over the years.  
Note the following quotes from Inside Look with Porter Moser presented by Cadillac premiering Saturday, September 15 at 6:30 PM:
Moser on the conversation he had with his father when he decided to become a coach:
“I said ‘Dad, I think...I know I want to coach college basketball.’ He goes, ‘How much you gonna make?’ I go, ‘Well, I’m going to volunteer my first year and bartend at night to make some extra money.’ And he said, ‘Do you love it? that what you’re passionate about?’ And I said ‘yes.’ And he says, ‘You gotta do it…you gotta do it.”

Moser on his team approach last season: 
"I never said during the season, ‘Hey you guys, we’re going to the Final Four.’ It was about the process. You ask any one of our guys, it was about getting better, what’s in front of us. We very rarely, pretty much hardly at all, talked about the end goal.”

Moser on the importance of making the NCAA Tournament: 
“There’s been some Loyola Rambler fans that have been sitting here 35 years...they’ve been waiting. And to share this arena with them (Loyola fans), with our families and kids, and to have your name come up on the screen. Miami, then Loyola. And to watch us all jump up, that’s an accumulation of a lot of work. And just to share it with the stage we had and the people we had, that’s what makes things special…the journey you went through and the people that went through it with you.”

Moser on accomplishing a Final Four run in his hometown: 
“I was that kid. Cubs, Bulls, Blackhawks, Bears. I even rooted the White Sox on...and to have a little part of this and to see how Chicago embraced it (Loyola’s run), that meant a lot to me.”

Moser on perseverance: 
“I’ve always said, if I had a tattoo, and I don’t, it would be an old proverb that would be: ‘Fall Seven, Rise Eight.’ And I’ve just been blessed to have people in my life that have always talked about perseverance. I keep a picture of the ‘63 national (championship) team right to my left. Every morning when I walk in to my desk, I see them holding the trophy…and I have another picture of Sheridan Road packed with fans. When things get hard, it’s such a much more rewarding path fighting through it.”

Moser on not being complacent going forward: 
“Don’t get me wrong, I want to win. I want to advance. I want to get better. I’m obsessed this offseason about getting better. I don’t want to talk about repeating. I don’t want to talk about going back to the Final Four. I want to talk about capturing our culture again.”

DePaul extends contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through 2023-24


DePaul extends contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through 2023-24

One of the icons of DePaul athletics is sticking around.

Monday, DePaul extended the contract of women's basketball head coach Doug Bruno through the 2023-24 season. Bruno just wrapped up his 32nd season as head coach of his alma mater, leading DePaul to its 16th consecutive NCAA Tournament.

While the Blue Demons were eliminated in the Round of 32 this March, Bruno has led the program to the Sweet 16 three of the last eight seasons.

“I am so thankful to be working at a great institution like DePaul,” Bruno said in a press release. “I never would have been here without coach Ray Meyer who gave me a basketball scholarship, Frank McGrath and Gene Sullivan who hired me in the 1970s."

Behind Bruno, DePaul went 27-8 in 2017-18, winning its fifth-straight Big East regular-season title. The Blue Demons also won their third Big East Tournament title in five years, defeating rival Marquette 98-63. Bruno also picked up his 700th career victory in February, defeating conference-foe Butler 86-68.

“I’ve been fortunate to have great assistant coaches through all the years,” he said. “My current staff is absolutely one of the best in the country.

"Most important, the reason you succeed is the players. I’ve been blessed to have tremendous student-athletes help build the DePaul women’s basketball legacy.

“I am excited about this contract extension because we still have work to do. As proud as we are of everything we have achieved, our expectation through the length of this extension is to take the Blue Demons to even higher places.”