Big Ten's top recruiters (cont.0
Posted: Monday February 19, 2007 4:05PM; Updated: Tuesday February 20, 2007 9:34AM
Adam Cushing, Northwestern: Cushing, the running backs coach for the Wildcats, was responsible for signees with an average star rating of 2.83. Cushing did a nice job in Ohio, landing four of the Wildcats' biggest recruits in the class -- running back Jordan Mabin, offensive lineman Ben Burkett, defensive end Vincent Browne and defensive back David Arnold. Mabin, Browne and Arnold have the potential to be superstars early for the Wildcats. Cushing also dipped into Pennsylvania to grab quarterback Dan Persa.
Eric Johnson, Iowa: Johnson, the Hawkeyes' recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach, is considered one of the top up-and-coming coaches in the Big Ten. He was considered the Hawkeyes' ace recruiter, and lured quality players from Kansas, Missouri and Minnesota. Johnson was the lead recruiter for quarterback Marvin McNutt out of Missouri, tight end Christian Ballard out of Kansas and defensive end Brodrick Binns out of Minnesota. Johnson averaged 3.33 stars for his three commitments, but he also played a big role as the recruiting coordinator. Iowa finished with the nation's No. 27 class.
Mike Locksley, Illinois: The Illini produced their best recruiting class in years, and Locksley's efforts were a big reason for that. Illinois' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach signed five players with an average star rating of 3.6. He pulled in five-star receiver Arrelious Benn out of Washington, D.C., and he was also able to lock up Nathan Bussey, Anthony Morris, Ian Thomas and assisted on Craig Wilson. Locksley helped the Illini land the No. 17 class in the country.
Scott Loeffler, Michigan: Loeffler did something few people do -- pull the top player out of Texas. Loeffler lured Ryan Mallet away from Mack Brown, Bob Stoops and Dennis Franchione. Landing the rocket-armed quarterback from Texarkana, Texas is enough to merit putting Loeffler on the top 10 list for Big Ten recruiters. When you add Rivals100 receiver Toney Clemons to Loeffler's résumé, his spot on this list is definitely justified. Loeffler did only land two players, but it was a great pair. Loeffler's pledges averaged 4.5 stars and were key in helping the Wolverines land the top class in the Big Ten.
Henry Mason, Wisconsin: Mason, the Badgers' receivers coach, pulled in six players this season with an average star rating of 3.5. He did a nice job locally, and was the key recruiter for Rivals100 running back John Clay. Mason also pulled in four-star receiver Nick Toon, the son of former NFL great Al Toon. Mason dipped into Ohio and pulled out Kyle Jefferson and Otis Merrill. He also went to Michigan to land James Stallons, a very talented quarterback.
Reggie Mitchell, Illinois: Mitchell -- Illinois' recruiting coordinator -- did a wonderful job and rivaled Locksley as the top recruiter on the Illini staff. Mitchell, Illinois' assistant head coach and running backs coach, landed five-star defensive end Martez Wilson out of Chicago Simeon. He also went to California to sign blue-chip junior college running back Daniel Dufrene. Back in Chicago, the additions of Darius Purcell and Marcus Thomas were also big. Mitchell averaged 3.25 stars per signing and helped the Illini finish with the nation's No. 17 class.
Dan Roushar, Michigan State: Making a transition to a new school is never easy. Making a transition to a new school a little more than a month before Signing Day is extremely difficult. Despite the circumstances, Roushar signed several quality recruits. Roushar pulled in three-star running back Andre Anderson out of Barrington, Ill. Anderson had been previously committed to Minnesota. Roushar also was able to land fast-rising offensive lineman Arthur Ray Jr. out of Chicago. While his signees only averaged 2.67 stars, Roushar put his stamp on this Michigan State class and did well despite adverse conditions. He should be one of the key recruiters for the Spartans going forward.