Every Wednesday here at The Big Ten Blog, we will update you on the latest commits, news and rumors in the recruiting world.
LB Gary Wooten was a 3-star recruit back in 2011 who didn't feel ready for D-I ball by the time signing day rolled around. So he decided to go...nowhere. So last year, Wooten just stayed home. Wooten has decided to give school a go after all, though, and over the weekend he committed to Penn State, per the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Since he didn't go to school last year, Wooten can still be part of the 2012 class, which means as soon as he's medically cleared, he can jump into camp and start practicing. Penn State beat out Vanderbilt and UMass for Wooten. Hey, whatever Penn State can get these days, right?
When is Ottawa the midpoint between Peru and Marseilles? When it's in the middle of Illinois. Ottawa is a township in Illinois, as are the other two—all in a line on I-80—and it's also the home of RB/DB Miguel Hermosillo, Illinois' newest verbal commitment.
Hermosillo's offer sheet was relatively light; according to Rivals, he had offers from Toledo, Northern Illinois and a couple of FCS schools, but 247Sports.com doesn't list any other FBS offers. So needless to say, that Illini offer looked pretty decent. He's a smaller player (5'10" and 190 pounds, and that seems generous), but he's fast enough that Illinois offered at its football camp in June and that ended up being that.
Purdue landed a verbal from OL Dwayne Johnson, which means we've already deleted about a dozen jokes about The Rock. If you smelllllll, etc. etc. He's a big kid out of Texas at 6'6" and 275 pounds, so he should be physically ready for Big Ten play before too long. And considering the amount of help Purdue's going to need on the line in a couple of years with its mainstays graduating, he might get some early playing time as well.
And then...that's it. The past few weeks have been so heavily dominated by summer practices—for both the college and high school teams—that coaches and recruits just don't keep up as much on recruiting.
And if you thought committing during camp was rare, think about how unlikely a decommit is. That's like announcing in the middle of a board meeting presentation that you just decided to break up with your significant other. The priorities are just different in August.
News & Rumors
According to Rivals.com, 5-star Ohio State commit Cam Burrows is now a 4-star prospect, having been pushed down the rankings by new up-and-comers and "low effort and loss of fluidity." At this rate, he'll be lucky to have two stars by signing day, and Ohio State should just let him down early and easy by pulling his scholarship now. What? No?
Per the Inquirer, Penn State's prized QB commit Christian Hackenberg is still solidly committed to PSU—for now. Hackenberg says he's still "sort of seeing what else plays out up there." This shouldn't be cause for concern for PSU fans, because it's what every single solid commit at every single school should be thinking and doing in the middle of August. There are still over five full months before he actually has to sign. He can evaluate how the team and program as a whole looks over the course of the season. So breathe normally, Nittany Lions fans. This? This is OK.