Good morning. Only 24 days until pitchers and catchers report. But we get you caught up on Big Ten news reports every day ...
1. It has been the year of the Big Ten running back, so was it any surprise that two of them shined in Saturday's Senior Bowl?
Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah won game MVP honors while leading the North to victory. Abdullah had 73 rushing yards and added another 40 receiving yards while showing NFL teams that the only measurable that matters with him is the size of his heart. I still wish Abdullah would have stayed healthy all season, because I think he could have joined Melvin Gordon and Tevin Coleman by making a run at 2,000 yards.
Minnesota's David Cobb was another Big Ten back who had a special season, and he produced 69 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries at the Senior Bowl. Cobb may not have the breakaway speed of other NFL running back hopefuls, but he is one tough dude to tackle.
Of course, the Senior Bowl is as much about the practices as it is the game itself. Our Todd McShay says Iowa defensive tackle Carl Davis is among 10 players who helped themselves the most in Mobile. Davis was named the outstanding practice player of the week by Senior Bowl officials. He could have solidified his spot as a first-rounder.
Other Big Ten alumni who gained notice at the Senior Bowl included a pair of tackles in Wisconsin's Rob Havenstein and Penn State's Donovan Smith.
2. How cool was Ohio State's national championship celebration on Saturday morning? I also love that the Buckeyes held the event during a key recruiting weekend. What prospect wouldn't be excited about seeing 45,000 fans turn out to the Horseshoe or be impressed by the national championship trophies on display?
Urban Meyer is already one of the greatest closers ever on the recruiting trail, and now he's got even more to sell. Ohio State picked up two players for their future classes on Sunday, including a blue-chip tight end.
3. Of course, the big "news" from Columbus during the celebration was Braxton Miller telling the fans "we've got another more year to do it [again]." That was hardly a definitive answer on the senior quarterback's future, and he was unlikely to announce a transfer in that atmosphere. But it is the most we've heard yet from Miller himself about his plans.
What Saturday might have shown Miller is that while he could transfer somewhere else and start right away next season, he'll probably never be as loved as he is by his home-state fans. Perhaps all of Meyer's talk about the unselfishness on this year's Buckeyes -- including the great story about walk-on Nik Sarac declining a scholarship so a player more in need could take it -- will convince Miller to come back and sacrifice some playing time or even change positions to make another championship run.
Who knows, really? The tug of home and the Buckeyes will be strong on Miller. But this saga is far from over.
Elsewhere in Big Ten country ...
A defensive tackle from Wisconsin turned down the Badgers and pledged to Penn State.
Michigan State's Curtis Blackwell -- a key hire for the program's recruiting -- talks about how highly prospects are viewing the Spartans right now.
The 10 toughest players to replace for Rutgers this season.
Maryland got its third commitment for the 2016 class.
Minnesota needs receivers, and it got another one all the way from El Paso, Texas.
Forecasting the 2015 Illinois depth chart.
Former Iowa linebacker Reggie Spearman has transferred to an FCS school that will play against the Hawkeyes this fall.