Horse Latitudes #3 - How's Big Ten recruiting?

Bulaga to left tackle in GB, and QBs will transfer on occasion

Marc Morehouse
Published: May 8 2013 | 11:19 am - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 3:05 pm in
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Back in January, Iowa football recruiting was off to what was considered a blazing start.

Cedar Falls High School O-lineman Ross Pierschbacher was the first to say yes to the Hawkeyes. About a week later, Union High School quarterback Jay Scheel committed. This gave Iowa two four-start recruits before the 2013 class made it official with their signed LOIs.

In April, Dubuque Senior High School OL Lucas LeGrand committed, giving Iowa three Iowans for the 2014 class, which should be around 15 give or take two or three.

Let's see how the rest of the Big Ten is doing (just for comparison, I have no idea and would like to know):

Legends Division

Iowa -- Three commits. LeGrand (6-5, 260) is unrated by Rivals.com at this point. Pierschbacher's offer list is the top 25 of all time -- Alabama, Auburn, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Stanford and USC. The 6-4, 275-pounder told HawkeyeReport.com on May 2 that he doesn't plan to take any visits this summer.

Michigan -- Eight commits with four 4-stars, according to Rivals. Hey, it's Michigan.

Michigan State -- Six with one 4-star. Iowa offered LB Deon Drake, but Rivals lists Erik Campbell as the recruiter. Iowa also offered center Brian Allen, a bruiser from Hinsdale, Ill., I thought had Iowa written all over him. (Just my opinion.)

Minnesota -- Three commits, including 4-star running back Jeff Jones, who has an Iowa offer and is kind of iffy.

Nebraska -- Just one commit listed by Rivals, Lincoln Southeast ATH Luke Gifford. According to the scholarship distribution chart, the Huskers also have 15 seniors, so about 15 to 18 scholarships available for 2014.

Northwestern -- Seven commits with two 4-stars, including QB Clayton Thorson, a 6-4, 200-pounder from Wheaton (Ill.) North who had an offer from Iowa. Iowa also had an offer out to Ohio WR Dareian Watkins.

Leaders Division

Illinois -- Four commits, three of whom are 3-star.

Indiana -- The Hoosiers have no commitments for '14 at this time. Their scholarship distribution chart shows just 11 seniors in the '13 class, so it's possible coach Kevin Wilson is being highly selective. IU had a nice class in '13, so don't judge too harshly yet.

Ohio State -- Seven commits, including three 4-stars. Iowa had an offer out to Illinois DE Dylan Thompson.

Penn State -- Despite being ineligible for the postseason for the next three years, the Nittany Lions have seven commits, including 4-star WR Chris Godwin.

Purdue -- The Boilers have one commit, WR Trae Hart from Dallas.

Wisconsin -- Four commits, including a pair of 4-stars, DT Craig Evans and OL Jaden Gault. All four commits are from the state of Wisconsin.

So, if you're Iowa -- and yes, you're concentrating on Iowa and all of that -- you might be looking at Michigan State and Northwestern and thinking you might need to kick it into gear.

Otherwise, it's not bad. Two 4-stars from the home state, it's still a decent start.

Big Ten Linking

-- This isn't exactly Big Ten, but the Packers are moving former Hawkeye OT Bryan Bulaga to left tackle this year. This is a biggie for Bulaga and the Packers. If Bulaga performs well there, his next contract will set him up for life (NFL money in Green Bay, yes it goes pretty, pretty, pretty far). If he doesn't, Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay's $110 million QB, will again be sacked 40 or 50 times.

And this is big for me, being a lifelong Packer fan and team owner (I'll send you guys selfies from the owner's box).

ESPNWisconsin.com's Jason Wilde is skeptical. He retraces coach Mike McCarthy's thoughts on Bulaga at LT during his three seasons, which range from "he's a Pro Bowl right tackle" to "I wouldn't have done it [moved Bulaga to LT] if I didn't have full confidence in Bryan.”

It's just the $110 million, franchise QB's blindside. That's all.

National Thinking

-- You might've noticed Iowa has a three-QB race going into August camp (I actually think it's more like two, but I'm not crossing anyone off the list).

Jake Rudock is a sophomore. Cody Sokol is a junior college transfer with two years left to play. C.J. Beathard is a redshirt freshman. There's a lot at stake here. Rudock probably believes, as a third year, it's his time, his job. Sokol's biological football clock is starting to tick. Beathard sees "freshman" by his name and "sophomore" by Rudock's and does that math in his head.

So, I get the question a lot, like a lot a lot -- Do you see anyone transferring if they don't win the starting QB job?

Well, sure. Maybe. There are a lot of variables to it, like does the guy consider Iowa City home? The trump card, though, usually is how much does the guy want to play?

It's what happens. There can only be one QB, even at Baylor or some of those acrobat offenses. Playing time is precious. If it dries up, the player looks for playing time somewhere else.

This graphic from Reddit CFB shows that just five of the top 18 QBs from the 2010 recruiting class remain at their original school. Three of those five are the clear-cut starters.

Here's the same info with a cool swipe graphic on Deadspin.

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