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Big Ten recruiting nuggets

The 2010 classes are filling up around the Big Ten. Here are a few items from ESPN's Scouts Inc.

Penn State chasing SEC schools for DT

Defensive tackle Michael Thornton (Stone Mountain, Ga./Stephenson) made an official visit to Penn State the weekend of Nov. 7. Penn State remains one of a handful of schools in the running for Thornton, though it is going to take a catch-up effort by Joe Paterno if he is going to land the star defender.

"He has a few schools he is still considering, but the two that have always been there are Georgia and Auburn," Stephenson linebackers coach Corey Johnson said. "He took a visit to Penn State, but I'm not sure to what degree they stand with him right now."

Schools still in the equation are Georgia, Auburn, Penn State, South Carolina and Michigan, though there is a chance another school or two could emerge.

Wolverines land three-star Maryland linebacker Josh Furman

Old Mill (Millersville , Md.) outside linebacker Josh Furman has announced for Michigan over Virginia Tech. The 6-foot-3, 194-pound prospect is expected to play safety/linebacker for the Wolverines.

"I was thinking real hard about the playing time, academics and the atmosphere and that was everything I wanted to be in, so that's why I chose Michigan," Furman told the Detroit Free Press.

Among other schools were Illinois, Maryland, Oklahoma, Miami-Florida, North Carolina, Purdue and West Virginia.

He rushed for 2,200 yards and 31 touchdowns while also racking up 50 tackles, three sacks and three interceptions as a senior.

Furman is Michigan's 24th commitment in the Class of 2010.

Rockhurst defensive back Dexter McDonald dumps Illini for Missouri

A three-star 6-foot-2, 190-pound cornerback, Dexter McDonald of Rockhurst (Kansas City, Mo.) has pledged to sign with the Tigers' recruiting class of 2010 after decommitting from Illinois. McDonald holds other offers from Kansas and Iowa State.

ESPN's Bill Conley added, "Talented defensive back Dexter McDonald ended his love affair with Illinois and switched to Missouri. The Tigers are putting together and excellent group of skilled athletes in a class that is nearly maxed out. It will be interesting to see if this commitment stays solid since it is only his second official visit and there is six weeks to go till signing day."

Illini land Jacksonville receiver Ryan Lankford for 2010

Ryan Lankford, a 5-foot-11, 160-pound wideout from Paxon School (Jacksonville, Fla.), has accepted an offer from Illinois.

Among his other class of 2010 offers were Louisville, Central Florida, Connecticut, Tulane, Central Michigan and Florida Atlantic.

Lankford posted an electronically timed 4.48 40-yard dash, 4.42 20-yard shuttle and 33-inch vertical at the Miami Nike Combine.

His father, Paul, was a long-time defensive back for the NFL Miami Dolphins.

Hun School product Sean Ferguson to the Gophers

Minnesota has beefed up its defensive line with a class of 2010 commitment from 6-foot-6, 305-pound Sean Ferguson of The Hun School (Princeton, N.J.).

Ferguson was also offered by Kent State.