The Hurry-Up: Big Ten Coaches Comment on Various Recruiting Topics, 2022 Linebacker Shawn Murphy Moves Up Commitment Date

By Garrick Hodge on July 22, 2021 at 6:30 pm
Pat Fitzgerald
Pat Fitzgerald

INDIANAPOLIS — Welcome to a Big Ten Media Days edition of the Hurry-Up. 

Today will basically serve as a platform to report on anything seven of the league’s 14 coaches said in their press conferences regarding recruiting (yes, it mostly centers around Name, Image, and Likeness). A quick programing note: I’ll be helping Dan and Colin Friday with team coverage when Ohio State takes its turn in Indianapolis, and then – don't worry – the Hurry-Ups that are purely Ohio State recruiting centric will return to their usual form next week, although there is one piece of recruiting news to get into today.

B1G coaches on NIL

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern: “​​I think NIL for all student athletes is outstanding. I'm not going to lie to you, I'm a little jealous. I mean, think about the mid 90s the dough I would have made. I mean, come on? If I was here in Indy, I probably could get a free cup of coffee. But there's a lot of opportunities for growth and improvement in college football and the NCAA and I think NIL is the first step. I love listening to all the coaches in the SEC and the guys before me, ‘We've got the best opportunity of NIL in Evanston, in Chicago.’ We're all trying to figure this thing out, so we need to get off thinking we have all got the best and work hard to educate our young men, educate their families, and then eventually put things in place to educate from the NCAA and the Big Ten level perspective student-athletes and their families. This is a great opportunity, if used the right way, but it's a job. And you have to have the right resources around the student-athletes to support them and support their family. So I think we're going to all learn a lot through these next 12 to 24 months, but it's a positive first step. I'm just a little jealous.”

P.J. Fleck, Minnesota: “First of all, I'm fired up. I'm fired up about name, image, and likeness. I think it's tremendous. Our location, the Twin City area, the three and a half million people we have in our city, the 18 Fortune 500 companies, this isn't a small, little college town. We have businesses galore and now having the ability for our players to benefit off their name with all of these companies. We can't be a part of organizing that, but they have all these resources at their disposal, at their fingertips. Now there's no Minnesota state law yet, so we have to be able to follow the NCAA, and obviously the University of Minnesota guidelines. But this is awesome that players get to now benefit off their name, image, and likeness.”

Scott Frost, Nebraska: “I'm excited for NIL. It's going to change the landscape of college football, probably college athletics in general. But anything that benefits our student-athletes I'm really excited about. I think Nebraska's uniquely positioned to take advantage of it, just because of the passion surrounding Nebraska football. We're the only show in town, we have fans all over the country and all our eyes are on us in the state of Nebraska and I think there's going to be a lot of people that are going to want to partner with our players and help give them some advantages. I don't think we have really scratched the surface yet of where this can go at Nebraska, probably around the country, there's a lot of work that still has to be done to figure out the best ways to make NIL work for our student-athletes, but I think Nebraska's uniquely positioned to do it and our leadership's done a good job laying the ground work so we can take advantage of it.”

James Franklin, Penn State: “Yeah, for me I don't really look at it as something to use in recruiting. I don't really look at it as something for Penn State in the coming years. I think about it — I look at it mainly as how do we make sure that we're doing everything we possibly can to support the student athlete. To me it's very simple, right, we're providing an opportunity for our student athletes to get an opportunity that every other student on the college campus has been able to take advantage of forever. Obviously there's a different platform and there's a different opportunity, especially when you're at a place like Penn State with our fan base and our alumni base and we're trying to prepare these guys for life after football, right, and this is going to be part of that. For them to be able to use the things that they have learned, be able to take advantage of the network and the resources that we have, so we have embraced it, we want to be bold and aggressive in everything we possibly can do, but for me and for us it's really about the student athlete and making sure that they're going to have an opportunity to capitalize on this and then our guys have been really proud of because I think they have showed a very mature approach, obviously in the summer and the spring we want to be aggressive about this, but it is going to be something that we're all going to have to manage in season that it doesn't become a distraction and take away from what they're really trying to do, which is to get a great education and play great college football.”

B1G coaches on recruiting in general: 

Scott Frost on missing out on Omaha recruit Deshawn Woods and other Nebraska-Area talents:  “I can't talk about it, but none of those young men have signed anywhere and I'm not supposed to talk about people that are still recruits. But I will say that we're in the process of trying to build something where we can be winners, winning is going to help a lot of things and that's where our focus is and that's going to improve a lot of things, including recruiting.” 

Illinois coach Bret Bielema on his approach to in-state recruiting, battling Iowa for recruits and getting a Tiger Hawk tattoo on his leg: “I got that tattoo at 19. It was a great idea then, not so much now. But I think it's important to realize that that is a big part of where I am today. I always tell our players, we all come from different parts of the country, we all come from different homes, different backgrounds, different religions, different communities, the first is to know that you're here because of that, that made you who you are today. For us to be successful at Illinois we have to recruit in the state, but also, the states that border us. So they come in our state, so we can go into theirs as well. So we'll cross the border and go out and recruit. Because a lot of times those similarities are very, very real, more than people think. Like a kid that grows up in down-state Illinois is very similar to a kid that grows up in the middle of Iowa, the kid that grows up in the middle of Wisconsin, the kid that grows up in the middle of Ohio, all those things transcend to what we think we can bring here, right? So it's an exciting time. I remember when I left the University of Iowa went to Kansas State and was involved in recruiting battles, that's one thing that they get very personal. It's easy on Saturdays, Saturdays you're just 11 guys competing on the field at a time, but recruiting is personal if you're doing it the right way. And to be able to have a foothold and to continue to build that with our in-state players but also branch it out and find Illinois-type players in other states that's what it's all about.”

Murphy changes commitment date

After originally setting a commitment date for Aug. 1, class of 2022 linebacker and OSU target Shawn Murphy has moved up his announcement. The new commitment date is 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The 67th-best player and the seventh-best linebacker in the class according to 247Sports’ composite rankings, Murphy recently narrowed his list of schools to Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, Florida and Penn State. Murphy seems to be trending away from OSU at the moment, considering he might not be the best fit for the Buckeyes schematically. The Buckeyes already have two commitments from inside linebackers for the 2022 class in five-star C.J. Hicks and four-star Gabe Powers

OSU recruits react to rankings

As we covered in Wednesday’s Hurry-Up, 247Sports released their updated rankings for the class of 2022. Some, like Kyion Grayes, who moved up 64 spots to No. 47 overall, felt appreciative. 

Meanwhile, C.J. Hicks wasn't thrilled being ranked 44th. 

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