Big Ten recruiting notebook Jan. 28

By Allen Trieu -

Big battles down the stretch

One of the Big Ten recruiting tussles to watch is over K’Von Wallace of Highland Springs (Va.) High School. Wallace is listed as a wide receiver, but is a defensive back recruit for Ohio State and Michigan State, both of whom offered on Tuesday.

A Cincinnati commit, Wallace is scheduled to visit Clemson this weekend, but we are hearing Ohio State is very much in the mix.

  • Four-star cornerback LaVert Hill will announce his decision on Signing Day at his high school, King (Detroit Mich.). It is down to Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State, with a lot of smoke recently for the Wolverines. However, Scout’s No. 97 overall prospect is coming off a Spartan official visit.
  • Four-star wide receiver Desmond Fitzpatrick of Mott HS (Waterford, Mich.) announces his decision on Monday, Feb. 1, at 2:30 p.m. ET. Nebraska goes into this weekend as the favorite, but Louisville, where he was once committed, gets him for an official this weekend. We hear there is a great opportunity for the Cardinals to get the nation’s No. 213 overall prospect back in the fold.
  • Offensive tackle Alaric Jackson from Renaissance HS (Detroit, Mich.) also is ikely to decide on National Signing Day. Iowa is in good shape after his official visit with the Hawkeyes, but Michigan State, Iowa State and Nebraska still are alive.
  • Antonio Shelton, a defensive tackle from Westerville (Ohio) North recently decommitted from Illinois and Rutgers and Penn State are the two schools he is considering now. We like the Nittany Lions’ chances here.
  • TaMarion Johnson, defensive end from Bradford Academy (Southfield, Mich.), is committed to Miami (Ohio), but Purdue and Minnesota offered on Wednesday. His coach reported to Scout that he would like to visit both schools before settling on a final decision, but those details are not yet avaialable.
  • We expect ATH Malik Harrison of Walnut Ridge (Columbus, Ohio), a three-star prospect, to be a Signing Day decision and we like Ohio State in that race.

Badgers ramp up

Wisconsin made a big move this week, jumping from 29 to 20 in the national rankings. There is still jockeying happening at the top of the board. Michigan still can add Rashan Gary. Ohio State still has Jordan Fuller, Carlos Becker and others on the board. Lavert Hill’s commitment could push Michigan or Michigan State’s class up, so it should be an exciting finish.

The conference’s top five (with national ranking in parentheses):

1. Ohio State Buckeyes (2)

2. Michigan Wolverines (5)

3. Michigan State Spartans (7)

4. Penn State Nittany Lions (11)

5. Wisconsin Badgers (20)

Commitment Corner

RB Sam Brodner, Glenbard West HS (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) to Wisconsin: Not much more needs to be said than this four-star prospect’s testing numbers and senior stats: 39-inch vertical, 4.49 forty, 1,917 rushing yards and 47 total touchdowns. The kid produces, he wins (state title as a senior) and we can’t think of many places his style of play fits better than Wisconsin.

OL Luke Campbell, Olentangy HS (Lewis Center, Ohio) to Michigan State: Few players in the Midwest had senior film as eye popping as Campbell. The four-star prospect is a destroyer who blocks to the whistle and the Spartans, along with several others, offered in the last month. He has a chance to be another outstanding late pickup for coach Mark Dantonio.

K Alex Barbir, South Forsyth HS (Cumming, Ga.) to Penn State: The Nittany Lions flipped Barbir, a Rutgers commitment. With Quinn Nordin likely to go elsewhere, Barbir fills a key need in this class for PSU.

ATH K.J. Gray, St. Peters Preparatory (Jersey City, N.J.) to Rutgers: Gray is listed as an athlete, but coach Chris Ash is likely to want his size, length and athleticism on defense, where he will have an opportunity to compete right away. The three-star prospect is a big get for the Scarlet Knights.

CB Caesar Williams, South Grand Prairie (Texas) HS to Wisconsin: Williams was one of the final pieces to the puzzle for this Wisconsin class. He’s a three-star cover corner with length and athleticism. While he still has weight to add, he has all the tools to be a big part of the Badger defense down the line.

CB Antwaine Richardson, Atlantic HS (Delray Beach, Fla.) to Maryland: Richadson decommitted from Michigan then committed to one-time Wolverines defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin at Maryland. He instantly becomes a key piece of the class for Durkin. Richardson missed his senior season with an injury, but provided he comes back fully healthy, he has the skills to play in Durkin’s aggressive scheme.

ATH Deron Harrell, East HS (Denver, Colo.) to Wisconsin: Harrell will come in as a greyshirt. At 6 feet 3, he has rare length and size for the defensive back position, where he’s likely to end up in college. He will have time to add weight and polish, and could be a surprise in a couple years.

DT Michael Dwumfour, DePaul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.) to Michigan: The Wolverines likely will lose Jordan Elliott, so they pick up Dwumfour, a former Penn State commit who happens to be very close with No. 1 overall prospect Rashan Gary. On his own merits, Dwumfour is an athletic, disruptive, albeit undersized, three-star interior prospect. He shares similarities with current Wolverine Maurice Hurst.

TE Andrew Trainer, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School (Alexandria, Va.) to Illinois: Trainer may be something of a sleeper, but he had a big offer list which included Pitt, NC State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and others, so a good get for Illinois to go into their territory and grab a 6-foot-7 kid who can catch the ball and play on the ball.

ATH Jonah Morris, Hoban HS (Akron, Ohio) to Indiana: A tremendous pickup for the Hoosiers. Morris is a super athlete who could play wide receiver, defensive back or linebacker. He had a big senior season, is No. 1 in the Midwest among athletes, and the Hoosiers were able to step in a steal him late.

DE Collin Miller, Hamilton Southeastern HS (Fishers, Ind.) to Nebraska: The Cornhuskers needed a defensive lineman to finish out the class and they got it in Miller, who had a big senior season and uses his athleticism to regularly be in the opposing backfield. This three-star can rush the passer much like former HSE product and Cornhusker Randy Gregory.

By Allen Trieu

Allen Trieu has covered recruiting for Scout since 2005 and became the manager of the Midwest in 2010. For more Big Ten recruiting news and analysis, visit

Allen Trieu has covered recruiting for Scout since 2005 and became the manager of the Midwest in 2010. For more Big Ten recruiting news and analysis, visit