Recruiting 2011 - 5 Big Ten Recruits To Know
Ohio State QB Braxton Miller
Ohio State QB Braxton Miller
Posted Feb 6, 2011

Along with the league's ten most important new recruits (for now), here are every Big Ten team's five new recruits you should care about.

Recruiting 2011 

5 Big Ten Recruits To Care About

CFN Top Prospects for 2011
- No. 1 to 50 | No. 51 to 100 | No. 101 to 150
- No. 151 to 200No. 201 to 250 | No. 251 to 300
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers
- Tight Ends | Off. Tackles | Guards & Centers 
- Def. Ends | Def. Tackles | Linebackers | Corners | Safeties 
- 2009 CFN Top 150 | 2010 CFN Top 200

The 10 Big Ten  Recruits You Should Care About

1. RB Aaron Green, Nebraska

2. LB Curtis Grant, Ohio State

3. QB Braxton Miller, Ohio State

4. DE Lawrence Thomas, Michigan State

5. RB Justice Hayes, Michigan

6. QB Jamal Turner, Nebraska

7. LB Rodney Coe, Iowa

8. DT Michael Bennett, Ohio State

9. DT Darian Cooper, Iowa

10. DE Shawn Oakman, Penn State  

Class Lists


- Scout List

- Scout List

Ohio State
- Scout List

Penn State
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Michigan State
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Five Illinois Recruits You Should Care About
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1. TE Jon Davis
6-2, 230,'s 7th ranked tight end. A big athlete with an uncanny change of direction, Davis actually returns punts for his Eastern teams at times. He runs the ball out of a wingback position like a 200 pound running back. Gets off the line quickly from his tight end position and his athleticism gets him great separation against linebackers. Catches the ball naturally without having to break stride.

2. C Tony Durkin
6-3, 270,'s 12th ranked center.

3. DT Clint Tucker
6-2, 285,'s 54th ranked defensive tackle.

4. OG Chris Boles
6-4, 315,'s 43rd ranked guard.

5. QB Reilly O'Toole
6-3, 200,'s 66th ranked quarterback. Lead team to an Illinois state title as a junior while completing 144 of 233 passes (61.8 percent) for 2,200 yards, 22 touchdowns and three interceptions.

Five Indiana Recruits You Should Care About
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1. CB Michael Hunter
6-1, 175,'s 120th ranked cornerback. Hunter has good height and long arms you want to see in a corner. He closes on the ball pretty quickly and plays faster than his 40-time will indicate. Hunter is a pretty instinctive defender and uses his body well in coverage. Wrapping up on tackles and providing a little more punch in run support are some areas he can improve on.

2. TE Jake Reed
6-3, 221,'s 46th ranked tight end. Will finish his career as a four year letterman and three year starter. Was named honorable mention All-Area as a sophomore and junior. He made All-Conference honorable mention as a junior as well. Carries a 3.73 grade point average.

3. OG Bernard Taylor
6-2, 280,'s 69th ranked guard. Defensive tackle and offensive tackle for head coach Mike Giannone at Dakota High School ... projects as a defensive lineman at Indiana ... all-state, all-county, All-East Detroit and all-conference selection in 2010 ... posted 103 tackles, 67 solo, with 10 sacks ... also named the team's offensive lineman of the year ... team went 9-3 and advanced to the 2010 state playoffs ... Dakota captured the District 8 championship in 2009 and 2010.

4. RB D'Angelo Roberts
5-10, 175,'s 71st ranked running back. Projects as a running back at Indiana ... closed career with 6,002 rushing yards, the most in Monroe County history, and 75 touchdowns ... set career and single-season school records for rushing yards, scoring touchdowns, rushing TDs and single-game rushing yards (429) ... 2010 Indiana Football Coaches Association (IFCA) Top 50 and Indiana Football Digest Prime Time 25 ... Indiana Associated Press Class 5A All-State, first team All-Conference Indiana and Bloomington Herald-Times All-Area Most Valuable Offensive Player in 2009 and 2010 ... led team to Class 5A semistate and the school's first sectional title in 2010 ... closed the year with 2,008 yards on the ground on 317 carries with 24 scores

5. WR Jay McCants
6-5, 195,'s 158th ranked receiver. 2010 first team All- Greater Miami Conference selection ... made 34 receptions for 413 yards and six touchdowns as a senior ... earned the team's Iron Viking Award for most dependable, reliable and toughest player ... posted 29 catches for 446 yards (15.4 average) and one score in only seven games during junior campaign ... three-year football and three-year basketball letterwinner ... honor roll student

The 2011 Class Is Heavy On … Defensive backs. New head coach Kevin Wilson wants receivers to be able to move the ball vertically even more than Bill Lynch did, and he loaded up with three excellent targets from the tiny but quick Shane Wynn to the 6-5 Jay McCants. Defense got plenty of help, especially in the secondary, with big safeties Forisse Hardin and Mark Murphy, potentially seeing time right away, while Kenny Mullen bring speed at corner and Nick Stoner and Michael Hunter are versatile options for the outside.

Five Ohio State Recruits You Should Care About
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1. Curtis Grant
6-3, 225,'s 1st ranked outside linebacker. Plays inside for his Hermitage team. He has the frame of an outside linebacker, but the toughness and pad level to stay inside should he fill out during his college years. He has good instincts and has excellent vision to spot the play in advance and once its underway. Exceptional closing speed for a big linebacker and does a good job in the passing game whether its in coverage or containing the quarterback.

2. QB Braxton Miller

6-2, 185,'s 2nd ranked quarterback. A true dual-threat quarterback, Miller could beat a team without rushing for a yard and is athletic enough to run a wishbone. Miller has the arm strength to put pressure on the back of a defense which opens up even more running lanes for him as the defensive backs are forced to be honest and not crowd the line of scrimmage. Miller has all the tools to be a star on the next level and simply needs to keep progressing.

2. QB Braxton Miller
6-2, 185,'s 2nd ranked quarterback. A true dual-threat quarterback, Miller could beat a team without rushing for a yard and is athletic enough to run a wishbone. Miller has the arm strength to put pressure on the back of a defense which opens up even more running lanes for him as the defensive backs are forced to be honest and not crowd the line of scrimmage. Miller has all the tools to be a star on the next level and simply needs to keep progressing.

3. DE Steve Miller
6-4, 230,'s 9th ranked defensive end. Miller does a very good job with his hands of controlling his blocker and discarding him as he recognizes the play. He form tackles like a well disciplined linebacker and rarely fails to wrap up the ball carrier. Strong enough to play on the strong side and occupy a double team from his end spot, but he's quick enough to blow past a tackle on a pure speed move if he's left out on an island.

4. C Brian Bobek
6-2, 278,'s 1st ranked center. One of the few elite linemen in the country that will enter college with experience under center, Bobek has incredibly quick hands and is able to make his snap and get his hands up before the defensive lineman has a chance to react. Very good feet enables him to stay square on his blocks or reach the second level easily. A smart interior lineman, Bobek can often be seen disengaging from a double team to pick up a delayed blitz.

5. LB Ryan Shazier
6-2, 202,'s 5th ranked outside linebacker. Shazier is a very good athlete and he's shined at defensive end on the high school level, but he will drop back to linebacker in college. He will still have speed at that position, but he will need to work on shedding blocks and dropping into coverage. He has shown solid instincts in 7-on-7 events this spring/summer, but the position will be new to him. He is best when turned loose off the edge to rush the quarterback. Speed is his biggest weapon.

Five Penn State Recruits You Should Care About
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1. OG Angelo Mangiro
6-3, 295,'s 3rd ranked guard. Mangiro has a prototypical guard build with a huge lower body. He plays with a wide base, explodes with his lower body and hips and brings a big hand punch into the defender to knock them back. Very powerful in the running game and is great on the goal line. Has very solid feet and looks natural in the open field blocking in space. Has a nasty streak and will play to and past the whistle at times. Didn't play much pass pro in HS.

2. OG/OT/DT Anthony Zettel
6-4, 255,'s 8th ranked guard. Lines up at defensive end and offensive tackle for his Ogemaw Heights team. He has a terrific burst off the ball and immediately is at an advantage against an offensive lineman while pass rushing because of his quickness. On the offensive side of the ball, his feet are quicker than most ends, and he sets up quickly in his pass block and shuffles his feet to mirror his opponent. Plays with good leverage and a strong base.

3. WR Bill Belton
5-10, 190,'s 11th ranked receiver. A quick twitch athlete with an excellent burst and change of direction that he shows off avoiding the rush as a quarterback. His feet aren't the only thing that's quick; as a quarterback he has a quick release. Despite his athleticism, he shows a lot of poise and vision on the field looking to pass first. Quick enough to play corner or receiver on the college level.

4. OT Donovan Smith
6-7, 280,'s 12th ranked offensive tackle. An excellent frame for an offensive tackle, Smith has good flexibility and shows good effort in the running game finishing his blocks. He uses his hands well and uses his arm length to his advantage. Has a tendency to lean on much smaller defenders instead of lowering his pads and driving them, but the size, athleticism and effort is there, it's just a matter of refining his technique play stronger

5. WR Matt Zanellato
6-3, 195,'s 45th ranked receiver. Zanellato is a fiery competitor on the field who goes into each play knowing that the ball is his when it's in the air and no one else's. He has quick feet, runs excellent routes and always finds a way to get open. He does a great job catching the ball away from his body, high-points the ball in traffic and can make plays with the ball in his hand after the catch. Great red zone weapon as well. Very aware on the field and smart.

Five Purdue Recruits You Should Care About
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1. DE Robert Kugler
6-3, 235,'s 23rd ranked defensive end. Runs very crisp and precise routes. Makes sure to keep good separation between linebackers and safeties and finds soft spots in zone coverages. Very good hands and breaks tackles in the open field. Very good technique as a run blocker. Explodes from lower body and gets his hands into the defender's pad level. Uses leverage and angles really well and can get out to the second level or seal the edge. Complete tight end prospect.

2. LB Armstead Williams
6-3, 205,'s 58th ranked outside linebacker. Williams plays both sides of the ball for his Gateway team. At running back, he shows good hands out of the backfield and runs with power. From his outside linebacker position, he shows a good change of direction and is good at reading plays. Has long arms and a good frame, has improved from his junior to senior season in being more physical and taking on blocks.

3. RB Akeem Hunt
5-10, 177,'s 58th ranked running back.

4. RB Akeem Shavers
5-11, 200, two-star JUCO transfer.

5. TE Sterling Carter
6-5, 240, two-star JUCO transfer. 

Five Wisconsin Recruits You Should Care About
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1. RB Melvin Gordon
6-1, 185,'s 38th ranked running back. Gordon finished his junior season with 96 carries, 1,060 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns, earning honorable mention All-State honors. Gordon says he can bench 250-pounds, squat 385 and has a 35-inch vertical jump. Fast and elusive.

2. LB Jake Keefer
6-4, 200,'s 22nd ranked outside linebacker.

3. DE James Adeyanju
6-2, 240,'s 39th ranked defensive end. Adeyanju is the younger brother of former Indiana star and current St. Louis Rams defensive end Victor Adeyanju. He says he can bench 325-pounds, squat 425 and has a 27-inch vertical jump.

4. LB Michael Caputo
6-1, 195,'s 42nd ranked linebacker. Runs the ball with a linebacker mentality and plays much bigger and stronger than his listed 200 pounds. A good feel for the game, Caputo has good vision on both offense and defense. A solid tackler, Caputo wraps up and plants his facemask square on a ball carrier.

5. OT Ray Ball
6-7, 325,'s 48th ranked offensive tackle.


Five Iowa Recruits You Should Care About
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1. OG Jordan Walsh
6-3, 275,'s 2nd ranked guard. Quick off the ball from his offensive tackle position, Walsh keeps good pad level coming off the ball and engaging a defender. Plays with a high motor and takes pride in finishing off his blocks all the way to the ground. Uses his hands well and rarely lets a defensive linemen disengage from one of his blocks. Does a good job of chopping his feet and keeping himself between his defender and the quarterback on pass blocks.

2. LB Rodney Coe
6-3, 240,'s 6th ranked outside linebacker. A running back in a defensive end's body, Coe takes a step to get moving, but runs with surprising speed in the open field with his long strides. He uses his long reach well when running the ball by steering would be tacklers to the ground via a well developed stiff arm. Sets up his blocks well and runs with good patience. Tough to knock off his feet despite playing high, because of his strength and balance.

3. DT Darian Cooper
6-1, 290,'s 16th ranked defensive tackle. A high motor 300 pounder is a treasured commodity, and Cooper can frequently be seen hustling down field after plays that have gone to the wide side of the field. Cooper has quick feet to get by or steer his blockers, but his compact frame hinder his ability to get off of them. Quick enough off the ball that he sometimes lines up at end for his DeMatha team

4. QB Jacob Rudock
6-2, 185,'s 29th ranked quarterback. Rudock is a more of a pro style QB that has the athleticism to move around in the pocket and pick up some yards with his feet. He is very cerebral, consistently making excellent reads, and can deliver the ball accurately and in rhythm to all levels of the field. He has the height at 6'3, now he needs to start filling out his frame. He possesses great touch when throwing down the field.

5. OG/DT Austin Blythe
6-3, 275,'s 23rd ranked guard.

Five Michigan Recruits You Should Care About
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1. DE Brennen Beyer
6-4, 218,'s 12th ranked defensive end. Beyer overwhelms offensive linemen with his initial burst off the ball and his hands are so quick, it must appear to the linemen that there's simply a flurry of movement in his face. Beyer has a terrific frame and sometimes seems to be made of elastic as he's able to lay out and contort his body to get a ball carrier trying to elude him. Simply needs to add weight and continue to get stronger to be a dominant defender.

2. LB Kellen Jones
6-1, 210,'s 12th ranked middle linebacker. Amazing on the blitz, he is as instinctual as you can find. He has a feel for getting through blocking and getting in to attack the quarterback, also good at blocking kicks. His size is okay but it is not above average. Good speed he uses it to his advantage on blitzes and coverage. Does a great job of working through blocks.

3. CB Blake Countess
5-10, 174,'s 20th ranked cornerback. A strong, hard hitting defensive back, Countess does a good job of jamming his receiver at the line of scrimmage. Flips his hips well to run with a receiver. An asset in the run game because of his willingness to make a hit. Size and skill set of a cornerback with the mentality of a safety. Comes out of his breaks and closes on the ball very well. Not the biggest DB on the field, but usually one of the toughest.

4. RB Justice Hayes
5-10, 182,'s 14th ranked running back. Very conscious of clearing his feet from the arm tacklers going low. Runs bigger than his listed size. Makes people miss with subtle moves rather than exaggerated lateral movement. Very good runner in traffic helps him eat up chunks of yardage quickly despite not having blazing top end speed. Very little wasted motion in his running style. Vision in traffic makes him valuable between the tackles despite his size.

5. LB Antonio Poole
6-1, 225,'s 13th ranked outside linebacker. 

Five Michigan State Recruits You Should Care About
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1. LB Lawrence Thomas
6-4, 230,'s 7th ranked defensive end. A jumbo linebacker that may be better served putting his hand down at defensive end one day, but he shows the agility to stick at linebacker despite his size. Has an excellent first few steps to burst to the ball carrier and uses his hands well to fight off blocks. Rarely does a ball carrier pull away from Thomas as he's got a strong upper body. Will need to keep his weight down and maintain his agility to stay at LB.

2. RB Onaje Miller
5-10, 180,'s 27th ranked running back. Has great elusiveness and natural ability to make people miss. Good overall combination of size and speed. Is not super tall, but is compact and has a good frame. Good receiver and route runner as well as return man. Runs with a lot of wiggle, but tends to do a lot of dancing, and at the next level, will need to do a better job of getting square and going north-south. Is a stronger kid, but prefers to elude rather than run through defenders.

3. OT Fou Fonoti
6-5, 295, three-star JUCO transfer. Named first team National Division Northern Conference in 2010 for his work at offensive tackle, as Cerritos came within one game of playing for the state championship. In 2009, named 2nd Team All- Northern Division Central Conference, starting in 10 games and playing in all 11. As a senior at Mayfair High in Lakewood, Calif., he was named the Suburban League Offensive Lineman of the Year, 2nd Team All-State, All-CIF and 1st Team all-league. Selected to the Press Telegram Dream Team and voted into the Lakewood Youth Hall of Fame. Full first name is Fouimalo, goes by Fou.

4. C Jack Allen
6-2, 275,'s 7th ranked center. Has excellent fundamentals. Plays with good leverage and has good footwork. Great drive blocker who gets into his man and finishes blocks strong. Shows the athleticism to pull and play in the second level. Has good balance and coordination in space. Is light right now and needs to add weight before he can play at the college level, but has the potential to be a long term starter in college.

5. OG Donavon Clark
6-4, 300,'s 13th ranked guard. Clark is explosive and quick off the ball. He fires out low and gets into his man quickly. He shows good lower body strength and the ability to drive defenders downfield. He plays hard and mean and does a good job of finishing. He is raw in pass protection and needs work with his feet and hand placement. He has a good initial punch though, and has all the tools to become a good college guard once he improves his fundamentals.

Five Minnesota Recruits You Should Care About
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1. LB Quinn Bauducco
6-3, 220,'s 40th ranked middle linebacker. Sure handed-tackler could play at either linebacker spot, but likely will play inside in college. Strong against the run but equally solid against the pass. Big hitter and loves to initiate contact.

2. QB Max Shortell
6-4, 205,'s 57th ranked quarterback.

3. OG Kyle McAvoy
6-6, 282,'s 51st ranked guard.

4. WR Ge'Shun Harris
6-3, 215, two-star JUCO transfer. Prepped at Corona (Calif.) Centennial, and helped the Huskies to the CIF State D-I title in 2008. Walked on at Arizona State, but matriculated to Arizona Western, starting every game from the second on. Had a team-best 31 receptions for 620 yards and four touchdowns. In the Mississippi Bowl, had 10 catches for 170 yards. Was All-ACCAC.

5. S Drayquan Crawford
6-1, 200, two-star JUCO transfer.

Five Nebraska Recruits You Should Care About
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1. RB Aaron Green
5-11, 185,'s 6th ranked running back. Green is a complete back. With the exception of his size, Green is everything you look for in an elite back. He has excellent acceleration, maintains good top end speed, has the ability to shift gears and change direction at the drop of a dime. And because of his low center of gravity he has phenomenal balance.

2. QB Jamal Turner
6-1, 170,'s 7th ranked quarterback. Turner is a lightning bolt on the field. From his spot at quarterback he is able to beat you with his feet or his arm. He does not have ideal size to play QB in college, but he has all of the other intangibles and is a major playmaker with the ball in his hands. If he does not settle in as a QB he would also be a highly regarded slot receiver.

3. QB Bubba Starling
6-5, 190,'s 10th ranked quarterback. Starling has a great arm and that is why he is also looked at as a MLB pitching prospect. His arm is a plus, but he is also a real threat to beat you with the run once a play breaks down. He also has a nice frame that screams NFL potential. He still needs to develop and hone the finer points of the game, but he has a world of potential at the position.

4. CB Charles Jackson
5-10, 175,'s 2nd ranked cornerback. There has never been any doubt about Jackson's ability to be an aggressive defender who will come up from the corner spot and make sure tackles and with his size and long arms. There was some concern about him being able to be the type of player you could put on an island and let him lock down the other team's best receiver one-on-one and he answered those questions by dominating at the U.S. Army Bowl.

5. S Daimion Stafford
6-0, 210, four-star JUCO transfer. Graceful is not a word typically associated with football players, but Stafford has an easy, fluid motion about him that allows him to glide across the field. He's instinctive in reading running plays, and he's aggressive without being undisciplined. A solid open field tackler, Stafford moves well in space and has the size to make sure the ball carrier goes down. A good backpedal. Comes out of his breaks quickly.

Five Northwestern Recruits You Should Care About
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1. QB Zack Oliver
6-3, 214,'s 50th ranked quarterback. Oliver has a lot of what you want in a field general as he makes quick decisions and gets rid of the ball quickly. He is good at feeling pressure before it gets to him and although he isn't a dual-threat type he can run for positive yards when he has to. Putting the ball where only his receivers can get to it is another strong suit for Oliver. Playing under center and making his drops is something he will have to work on in college.

2. RB Jordan Perkins
6-0, 180,'s 35th ranked running back.

3. OG Geoff Mogus
6-5, 280,'s 38th ranked guard.

4. RB Nick VanHoose
6-0, 170,'s 84th ranked running back.

5. OG Matt Frazier
6-3, 281,'s 68th ranked guard.