Biggest Big Ten vs. Pac-12 Recruiting Battles in Class of 2014

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IJune 12, 2013

Biggest Big Ten vs. Pac-12 Recruiting Battles in Class of 2014

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    The Rose Bowl traditionally hosts the top Pac-12 team versus the top Big Ten team each January. The two conferences each have great history and feature several of the top programs in the country.

    Although their regions are not geographically close, there are times where programs from both the B1G and Pac-12 compete for recruits. Running back Justin Fargas originally spurned playing close to the Pacific Ocean for Michigan. Michael Thomas, who plays for Ohio State, was plucked from Los Angeles.

    With the two conferences competing for elite recruits over the years, the 2014 class has followed suit. A versatile athlete from Southern California is open to the idea of playing in the Big Ten, while a big linebacker has caught the eye of top schools from both the Pac-12 and the B1G.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals247Sports and ESPNU.

Jalen Brown, WR

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    Brown, who has great hands, is eyeing several schools within the Pac-12 and Big Ten. According to 247Sports, Arizona, Arizona State, Northwestern, Michigan and Michigan State are all schools that interest Brown.

    Brown, who plays in Phoenix for Mountain Pointe High School, is a talented receiver who excels as a route-runner. He understands how to read coverage, settles in soft spots and has great ball skills.

    Although he resides in Pac-12 country, Brown's style of play would fit nicely in the Big Ten.

Garrett Dickerson, DE

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    Dickerson, who has interest in playing for Stanford, also has Ohio State, Michigan and Northwestern on his trail, says 247Sports.

    Although Alabama is also in the mix, Dickerson is more likely to play on The Farm or settle somewhere in the Big Ten.

    Dickerson, who is 6'4" and 240 pounds, is a defensive end who plays for Bergen Catholic in New Jersey. Although he can play in the face of a tight end, Dickerson's quickness and ability to get up the field may be best suited as a wide 9-technique pass-rusher.

Dwight Williams, OLB

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    Williams, who is one of the top players in Southern California, has the option of playing for several of the best Pac-12 and Big Ten programs. Per 247Sports, Williams has offers from USC, UCLA, Washington, Oregon and Michigan.

    The Wolverines are the lone B1G school in his main group, but never count out Brady Hoke. Michigan is a national recruiting power. Plucking Williams from Pac-12 country is not beyond its reach.

    Williams, who is 6'1" and 205 pounds, has excellent athleticism. He moves well in space and can play on all three downs. Williams has good range, loose hips and flashes great cover ability.

Demetrius Knox, OL

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    Knox, who was once a Texas commit, is one of the top offensive linemen in the Lone Star State. Ohio State appears to be the favorite, shows 247Sports, but Oregon and UCLA are under consideration.

    Florida State and Miami also seem to have a chance.

    Knox, who is taller than 6'3" and weighs 290 pounds, is an interior offensive lineman who plays with toughness. He does not back down from powerful defensive tackles, fights each snap and has good agility.

Raekwon McMillan, LB

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    McMillan, who is from Georgia, is a priority recruit for several SEC schools. Clemson is another school that is a dark horse in the race for McMillan.

    Ohio State seems to be the favorite to land him, yet USC, shows 247Sports, also has its hand in the McMillan pot. The Trojans have proven themselves to be a formidable foe in any recruiting battle across the country.

    McMillan, who is 6'2" and 249 pounds, will continue to be recruited hard by Urban Meyer's staff. If not, then the Trojans could swoop in and land the explosive Peach State linebacker.

JuJu Smith, WR/S/ATH

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    Smith, who plays for powerhouse Long Beach Poly in Southern California, is an explosive recruit who could stand out in either the Pac-12 or Big Ten. USC and UCLA are two schools to keep an eye on. Washington, Michigan and Ohio State are all being considering, among several others, by Smith according to 247Sports.

    The Trojans and Bruins cannot rest easy when it comes to pursuing Smith. Michigan and Ohio State pose serious threats to the Los Angeles programs, and Washington is prepared to stay in the hunt until the end.

    Smith, who is 6'1" and more than 185 pounds, is a versatile player who can play safety or receiver. He shows great play speed, agility and makes plays with the ball whether he is on offense or defense. 

Adoree' Jackson, CB

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    Jackson, who is also one of the best track and field athletes in the nation, has an interesting addition in his top list of suitors. While powerhouse programs such as USC, Florida, LSU and Michigan are being considered, Jackson also includes Illinois on his top list, according to 247Sports.

    Originally from the state, Jackson, who plays for Serra High School in Los Angeles, could very well play basketball for the Illini, making him a three-sport star. He is an incredibly gifted athlete who has exceptional quickness and explosiveness.

    Jackson could pick a Pac-12 or B1G school that sees him play cornerback in the fall, guard in the winter and long jump in the spring.


    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.