Top Class of 2010 prospects ready for written offers
As the end of August draws near, things are about to change on the recruiting front. To this point even the very best high school juniors have received only verbal scholarship offers, usually delivered through the prospect's high school coach.
However, as of Sept. 1, written scholarship offers can be extended and college coaches are allowed to call prospects once a week. College football teams are set to begin their seasons, and prospects will also be able to make both unofficial and official visits.
While hundreds of high school football players will begin making visits to see college games this weekend, a much smaller number of juniors will begin receiving written scholarship offers next week.
Here is a look at some of the top Class of 2010 prospects in Big Ten country who already have verbal offers and will begin receiving written offers in a matter of days.
Sept. 1 will undoubtedly be a busy day for St. Paul (Minn.) Cretin-Derham offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson. The 6-foot-8, 310-pound Henderson has verbal scholarship offers from Florida, Ohio State, Minnesota, UCLA, Wisconsin, Iowa and Boston College, among others. Henderson will receive his share of written offers next week.
Youngstown (Ohio) Ursuline linebacker Jamel Turner has verbal offers from Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Akron, and at least the Buckeyes have told Turner his written offer will come Sept. 1.
Cincinnati St. Xavier offensive lineman Matt James, who helped his team win a state championship during his sophomore season, has verbal offers from Tennessee, Illinois and Cincinnati. Additional verbal offers are likely on the way, as well as James' first written offers.
Ohio native Ron Zook's Fighting Illini have been very aggressive recruiting the Buckeye State. In addition to Turner and James, Illinois has offered Solon defensive end Darryl Baldwin a scholarship. Baldwin will likely receive his written offer from Illinois next week. He also has a verbal offer from West Virginia.
Springfield (Pa.) Cardinal O'Hara running back Corey Brown has verbal offers from Pitt, Penn State, Ohio State, Rutgers, Maryland and Illinois. He expects most if not all of those schools to extend written offers next week.
Johnsburg, Ill., tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz has football offers from Notre Dame and Indiana and a basketball offer from the Hoosiers. He will likely land his first written offer next week. Another junior from the state of Illinois who will almost certainly soon begin receiving written scholarship offers is Palatine (Ill.) Fremd offensive lineman Christian Lombard. Lombard has several verbal offers.
Ann Arbor (Mich.) Huron wide receiver Jeremy Jackson is one of the Big Ten region's top juniors. The 6-4, 200-pound Jackson will likely receive a written offer from Michigan next week. The Wolverines have made a verbal offer, as have others such as Florida and Texas. Jackson's father, Fred Jackson, was an assistant coach on Lloyd Carr's Michigan staff and is currently an assistant coach on Rich Rodriguez's staff.
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio has recruited the state of Michigan well this year and is looking for more success with the Class of 2010. Two Michigan junior quarterbacks say they already have verbal offers from the Spartans: Devin Gardner from Inkster and Robert Bolden from Orchard Lake St. Mary's.
The 6-4, 205-pound Gardner also has offers from Bowling Green, Toledo and Cincinnati, while Bolden lists Michigan State and Central Michigan as his offers. Written offers will likely soon be on the way for both.
• Springfield (Pa.) Cardinal O'Hara quarterback Tom Savage committed to Rutgers on April 18, the day before the Scarlet Knights' spring game. Savage and star junior running back Corey Brown will be in attendance Monday as Rutgers takes on Fresno State. Brown says he will also attend the Michigan at Penn State game and might go to the Cal at Maryland game.
• The Illinois at Missouri game Saturday should be a big one for recruiting. Not only will the game have national importance, but it is a night game pitting two schools, in fairly close proximity, that often compete for the same recruits.
Bill Kurelic covers recruiting in the Midwest for ESPN.com.