We're nearing the week left mark as we inch towards national signing day next Wednesday and that means things are getting a bit crazy on the recruiting trail. Just look at what occurred over the weekend in Michigan as prized running back prospect Derrick Green (No. 1 RB by Rivals & Scout) chose the Wolverines and got tough guy Brady Hoke to break down crying.
It's just one example of just how important nailing down late commitments can be for different schools. With that in mind we're going to explore the 5 players not yet committed that could land at Big Ten schools when it's all said and done. These aren't guys guaranteed to end up going to these schools, but if they do end up committing it's going to be a big deal and a game changer.
1) Alex Collins (RB, South Plantation in Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
B1G School in contention: Wisconsin
The Scoop: Collins is rated as one of the top running backs in the class of 2013 (No. 1 by 247Sport) and while he has been committed to Miami in the past it's 100% clear that Collins is wide open in his commitment process and this one could come down to the bitter end for his services. Wisconsin already has a commitment from fellow four star RB Corey Clement, but passing up on a rare combo of size and speed in Collins would just be stupid for Wisconsin. They are in the thick of things for his services and it's likely to come down to Florida State, Wisconsin, and of course the old Badgers coach's new home - Arkansas.
Where He Ends Up: Florida State - I think you see Collins stay in the state of Florida and it wouldn't surprise me to see him stick with his original commitment. If Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen uses an in-home visit with him that could change the game though. Ultimately it's hard to see Wisconsin as anything but an outside shot for Collins.
2) Vonn Bell (Safety, Rigeland in Rossville, GA)
B1G School in Contention: Ohio State
The Scoop: Bell is an important piece to what's becoming one of the nations top classes already, but it won't be easy plucking the Georgia product up out of SEC territory. Bell has taken official visits to OSU, Alabama and Tennessee this past month (and in that order) and it appears that a favorite may have emerged after his final visit to Tennessee. The secondary at OSU is a spot that needs to be upgraded in terms of quality depth and landing Bell helps. It'll also help them compete with the class TTUN (That Team Up North for those of you scratching your head) has put together.
Where He Ends Up: Tennessee - When we spoke to a few scouting experts it appears that Ohio State may be the 2nd choice for this prospect after Tennessee, but we may not know his choice until signing day - so keep an eye out as this is a very close race.
3) Cornelius Elder (ATH, Ensworth in Nashville, TN)
B1G School in Contention: Ohio State
The Scoop: Elder is a big time athlete and one that not only could play D1 football, but holds a few big time offers in D1 basketball as well. His most recent offer in bball came from Purdue so there is a lot of moving parts to all of this in his recruitment. However, it seems as if football may win the day for him. If that's the case than look for OSU to be a big time player. Some have compared him to a Percy Harvin type at 5'11" and 165lbs. right now.
Where He Ends Up: Ohio State - On the football side of things it's OSU and UCLA as leaders in the clubhouse, but the ability of Urban Meyer to put him in a spot to really succeed on the field. However, this is one of the most up in the air of all of these possible commitments.
4) Marcus Ball (ATH, Westerville South in Westerville, OH)
B1G Schools in Contention: Wisconsin, Michigan State
The Scoop: After the Badgers head coaching change Ball was one of the few verbal commits to open things back up, yet he remains a verbal commit to Wisconsin. It was very close between MSU and Wisconsin in the first round and it could be again, but Ball also visited Arizona State recently and both MSU and Wisconsin's head coaches have done in-home visits recently. Ball is expected to fit in as a Safety or an outside linebacker depending on what happens with his body.
Where He Ends Up: Wisconsin - When it's all said and done it just seems like Ball is merely testing the waters and making sure he makes the decision that is best for him. However, the fact that he hasn't completely said no to Wisconsin and has yet to actually flip to any other school is a good sign for the Badgers. They could use the help in the secondary to say the least.