Illinois' 2010 class won't make national headlines like the 2007 haul, and a few weeks ago, the team seemed to be in big trouble on the recruiting trail. But Ron Zook and his new-look staff are finishing strong and picked up several key recruits, including defensive back Earnest Thomas, during the final weekend before national signing day (Wednesday).
Here are all of the Big Ten-related recruiting bits from the weekend, courtesy of ESPN's Scouts Inc.
Wisconsin draws lineman Joe McNamara from the Deep South
A 6-foot-2, 275-pound defensive/offensive lineman, Joe McNamara of Cypress Bay (Weston, Fla.) has accepted a Class of 2010 scholarship offer from the Badgers.
A former Stanford commitment, McNamara choose Wisconsin over offers from FAU, FIU and Marshall.
Illinois snares highly-recruited defensive back Earnest Thomas
Safety Earnest Thomas of St. Mary's (Orchard Lake, Mich.), who recently decommitted from UCLA, has decided to sign with the Illini for the Class of 2010.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound prospect also drew offers from Indiana, Purdue, Louisville, Minnesota, Missouri, Penn State, Wisconsin, Stanford and Vanderbilt.
Glenbard South prospect Austin Teitsma accepts Illini scholarship
A 6-foot-3, 230-pound defensive end/tight end, Austin Teitsma of Glenbard South (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) has chosen Illinois.
Ball State, Indiana and Northern Illinois also offered.
Boilermakers land Daytona Beach kicker Jonathan Linkenheimer
Mainland (Daytona Beach, Fla.) punter/kicker Jonathan Linkenheimer is headed to Purdue for the Class of 2010.
Four Buccaneers are now bound for the Boilermakers including The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Linkenheimer, defensive back Ricardo Allen, receiver/defensive back Chevin Davis and receiver O.J. Ross.
Illini snare 240-pound running back in Jay Prosch of Alabama
Recruited as a fullback, Jay Prosch of UMS Wright (Mobile, Ala.) has given a Class of 2010 pledge to Illinois of the Big Ten.
He was also recruited by Louisiana Tech and Northern Illinois.
Ole Miss scores four-star cornerback Tony Grimes
Highly-coveted senior Tony Grimes (Hollywood, Calif./Hills) has committed to Mississippi over Michigan and Maryland, ESPN affiliate InsideTheGrove.com reports.
"I had two good trips to Michigan and Maryland there's just something about Ole Miss that stuck with me. I like the other schools but I think Ole Miss beats them out and that's where I belong," he said.
Lely defensive back Jhony Faustin no longer headed to Boilermakers
Purdue has withdrawn a Class of 2010 offer to Jhony Faustin of Lely (Naples, Fla.), because the three-star prospect has yet to qualify academically.
Nittany Lions score sleeper linebacker/defensive end Brad Bars
From Montgomery Bell Academy (Nashville, Tenn.), promising defensive prospect Brad Bars has accepted a Class of 2010 scholarship offer from Penn State.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Bars also holds offers from Army, Navy, Arkansas State and Central Michigan.