Spring football games will be happening all across the country in the next couple of weeks. Here are some newsworthy notes, players, and things to watch around some of the rest of the Big 10:
Nebraska: All the talk in Husker Nation recently is about uniforms and strength of schedule. Last week, AD Tom Osborne announced his decision to let Adidas create an alternate uniform for the Huskers to wear for one game in 2012. Exactly which game is undetermined. What is determined, if you are a Phil Steele disciple, is that the Corn Huskers have the most difficult schedule of all Big 10 teams next year, facing 10 bowl teams from last season.
Penn State: Wasn’t Penn State football supposed to be diminished to nothingness after last season’s ongoing nightmare? Someone forgot to tell Bill O’Brien that, apparently. The Nittany Lions have signed 6 four-star recruits for 2013 already, after landing DT Greg Webb who had offers from Iowa and just about every major D1 program. According to Bleacherreport.com, “The Lions now have a virtual lock on a top 25 recruiting class and are on pace to having a top 10 recruiting class.”
Michigan: The Wolverines’ young linebacking unit is one to watch. Remember the names Joe Bolden, Jarrod Wilson, and Kaleb Ringer. A press transcript from mgoblog.com notes of Bolden: “He’s a guy that should be at the senior prom right now. But he’s really really really done a good job of picking up the defense. I really believe he’s going to be a very very good linebacker. Very good.”
Michigan State: Sparty’s defense is the talk of the town this spring. Joel Heath and Shilique Calhoun are drawing praise worthy of a church hymnal. Mark Dantonio said this about Calhoun: “Shilique has Julian Peterson-type ability,” and says that Heath “looks just like Will Gholston.”
Northwestern: The passing game looks to be a strength for the Wildcats this upcoming season. Kain Colter is back and Laketheposts.com notes a “very very deep wide receiver group,” led by the rise of sophomore wideout Tony Jones and USC transfer Kyle Prater (a former 5 star recruit). Jones tells purplewildcats.com , “I’m trying to be modest, but I think this wide receivers unit has the ability to be the best in the Big Ten, best in the country.”
Ohio State: Is the college football world ready for a full dose of Carlos Hyde? He’s big (235 lbs) and fast and the Buckeye running back is one of six important players to watch in 2012 according to Bleacherreport.com .
Wisconsin: The Badgers got bailed out. Again. Last year, their shaky quarterback situation was saved by the transfer of Russell Wilson. This year, it’s been saved once again, by another transfer from the ACC: Danny O’Brien of Maryland. Buckys5thquarter.com says of their latest rescue: “Truth be told, the Badgers were likely the odds-on favorites to make the conference championship game from the Leaders division before O’Brien hopped aboard. With a steady hand helming the offense, the expectation should be Indianapolis and then some. There are questions, naturally, but with the biggest one answered a third run at roses is within reason.” O’Brien threw for 4,086 yards and 29 TD’s in his two seasons at Maryland.