Big Ten Media Days [Live Coverage]

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6:32 p.m. — Our final story of the day is about Malcolm Willis and his “It’s still us against the world mentality.” We will have a few more stories tomorrow morning, but this should do it live from Chicago and Big Ten Media Days 2013. We hope you enjoyed our coverage, and thanks for following along.

4:23 p.m. — Our two stories from today so far on Bill O’Brien wanting more night games and John Urschel’s luncheon speech can be found here and here.

11:29 a.m. — Roundtable interviews have come to an end and one interesting nugget is coaches expressing a desire to play more night games. For years, the Big Ten would not play night games outside once the month November hit, but that will be something interesting to monitor over the next year. Below are pictures of O’Brien and the Penn State players here. The luncheon gets underway in an hour and we’ll have more once it gets started.

 

7:52 a.m. — Good morning from Chicago where Day 2 of Big Ten Media Days is set to unfold. Today will be highlighted by Penn State right guard speaking on behalf of the players at a luncheon. Before that, there will be some additional media availability where we’ll be able to roam around talking to different players and coaches. Things don’t get underway for another hour, so some morning reading can be found here. The new targeting rule that can result in player ejections was a hot topic yesterday, and we’ve compiled some reaction quotes from players and coaches.

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7:55 p.m. — Day 1 of Big Ten Media Days looks to be in the books. In addition to this live blog, we have stories on Bill O’Brien and Glenn Carson. We should have stories on the new targeting rule, Malcolm Willis, John Urschel, players discussing defensive coordinator John Butler, and more tomorrow. Thanks for following along and stay with us when we start up again early tomorrow morning.

6:37 p.m. — This summer is a lot different for players compared to this time last year when there were a ton of distractions to deal with. Find out how middle linebacker Glenn Carson has been spending his summer off the field here.

5:00 p.m. — We admittedly got a bit behind once Penn State interviews started, but these stories on Bill O’Brien should fill you in. More is on the way including comments from players.

1:59 p.m. — Bill O’Brien is scheduled to speak in about 15 minutes and will also be available for another session with reporters afterwards. We’ll work to keep the live blog updated, but immediate news will be available on Twitter.

1:43 p.m. — In one of the more anticipated appearances of the day, Urban Meyer wanted to talk about the positives of his football team, but some of the questions focused on the ugly past few days that have seen a few players get into legal trouble. Meyer offered no comment on running back Carlos Hyde saying he is “going to evaluate facts and make a decision.” The past few days were tough on Meyer after an undefeated season in 2012. “In the last 12 months, we’ve had three legal issues and it all happened in the span of a few days,” said Meyer.

The line of questioning continued to which Meyer said the criticism does bother him because “I’m human.” Towards the end of his session, Meyer went on to deny that he concerns himself with his reputation and how he’s perceived. “I guess your reputation is what other people think of you.”

1:27 p.m. — Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio followed Pelini and opened up talking about missed opportunities that resulted in a 7-6 record for the Spartans last year after winning 11 games in both 2010 and 2011. Senior quarterback Andrew Maxwell looks to be his starter under center as the Spartans look to head back in the right direction. “We’ve got a lot of competition on this football team,” he said.

1:15 p.m. — Bo Pelini kicked off the next session and was the first head coach to offer a bit of opposition to the new targeting rule where a player can be immediately ejected for targeting a defenseless player above the shoulders. A rule like this can often be subjective and put a lot of pressure on a referee or replay official to make a difficult call. “The scary thing to me is the application part of it,” Pelini said. “It’s subjective and hard to call.” Pelini admitted he understands why it’s in place but still sees some potential problems. “It’s about the safety of the players and we’re all for that. We just have to make sure we’re not messing with the integrity of the game.”

12:54 p.m. — A bit of a break for lunch now but a decorative group in Bo Pelini, Mark Dantonio, and Urban Meyer is coming up. O’Brien is still a little over an hour away at 2:15 p.m.

12:43 p.m. — Michigan’s Brady Hoke is up next, entering his third season in charge of the Wolverines. After a Sugar Bowl victory in 2011, the Wolverines took a bit of a step back last season. Hoke called the record “unacceptable” but seems optimistic turning his attention towards 2013. “I don’t often say this, but I said it in the spring, I like our football team.” Many of the questions for Hoke focused on quarterback Devin Gardner replacing the departed Denard Robinson full-time.

On a lighter off the field note, Hoke was asked what he thought about a young Ohio State fan naming his brain tumor ‘Michigan.’ “We were glad. We were excited for that young man.

12:25 p.m. — Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson followed Beckman at the podium. Wilson got Indiana to four wins last season after going 1-11 in 2011. The Hoosiers offense was dynamic in 2012, but Wilson called the performance of the defense “embarrassing.” Wilson emphasized some of the young talent that he hopes will help give the Hoosiers a winning record. He has not named a starter at quarterback between Nate Sudfeld, Tre Robertson, and Cameron Coffman but is looking forward to the competition. Indiana’s unit often moved the ball last season, but he wants to see more efficiency and effectiveness as drives relate to points.”You don’t win games by moving the ball,” he said. “You win games by crossing that G-Line and not letting the other team cross it.”

12:08 p.m. — Before discussing his team, Beckman opened up with a bit of humor wishing his mother a  happy birthday. Unlike some other schools in the conference, Beckman has a starting quarterback at the moment in Nathan Scheelhaase but faces a lot of challenges after last season turned ugly. He described his team’s mood as anxious looking to rebound from a poor season. “We’re not going to let negativity infiltrate our program.”

11:52 a.m. — We have a bit of a break here before Tim Beckman comes to the podium at noon. He is coming off a disastrous first year at Illinois that saw the Illini go 0-8 in the Big Ten and lose their last 10 games overall.

11:42 a.m. — Unlike Hazell, Gary Andersen inherits a bit of a different situation at Wisconsin. The Badgers played in three consecutive Rose Bowl games. Andersen talked about the importance of building a staff with good assistants who recruit well and “can take care of kids.” The Badgers are another program with an unsettled quarterback competition, and Andersen doesn’t have a planned timetable for when he will name a starter. He also called his linebacker Chris Borland “the best linebacker in the country.” “For me and all of our coaches to have the opportunity to be in the Big Ten and coach at the highest level, it’s important for me.”

Towards the end of his remarks, Andersen was asked about the legal situation at Ohio State earlier this week, having a relationship with Urban Meyer from their Utah days. He said he hasn’t followed the specifics of it, adding “I know [Urban] will handle it fairly.”

11:27 a.m. — Coming from Kent State, Darrell Hazell inherits a Purdue team that struggled to a 6-7 record last season. After beginning by complimenting the school’s academics, Hazell said change much start with self image. A big priority back in the spring was learning how to finish games strong after the Boilermakers gave away a few close games last season including a close loss to Ohio State on the road when they held a fourth quarter lead. Purdue will enter the summer practice with an open quarterback competition. “We’re going to climb out from the middle and put this program on national prominence for a long time,” Hazell said. “We must think of ourselves as champions.”

11:15 a.m. — Much of Fitzgerald’s remarks focused on how he goes about recruiting carefully to identify the kids he wants in his program. Even if it takes longer to offer scholarships to certain high-school athletes, he wants to make sure they’ve identified quality people. The Wildcats tied a program record with 10 victories in 2012, but Fitzgerald is not satisfied. “We’re not satisfied with just going to bowl games,” he said. “We’re far from where we’re going to be.”

10:56 a.m. — Just about set to start here. Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald, who is coming off a 10-3 season including a Gator Bowl victory will kick things off.

10:30 a.m. — A picture of the plane that the Penn State contingent took this morning courtesy of John Urschel. USA Today also has a profile on him this morning.

10:14 a.m. — The Big Ten conference released its annual list of players to watch, and Allen Robinson is one of 10 players on it. Three Ohio State players made the list including Heisman hopeful quarterback Braxton Miller as the unanimous selection.

9:52 a.m. — We’re all set to go in the media workroom, and we have great seats too. Below is a picture of the scene here along with the 2013 media guide cover that features Allen Robinson, Adrian Amos, Kyle Carter, John Urschel, Glenn Carson, and DaQuan Jones. Coaches press conferences should begin at 11 a.m.

 

 

8:26 a.m. — Good morning from Chicago where Big Ten Media Days is just a few hours away. As a quick side note, if you’re in town anytime soon, make a stop at Giordano’s Pizza — Great dinner spot and what’s better than deep dish pizza for breakfast?

As far as they day goes, the schedule for coaches’ press conferences is listed below. ESPN Big Ten is also advertising a 12:15 p.m. chat with John Urschel. Already known for his talent on the field and academic achievements off it, Penn State’s right guard should get even more national exposure over the next two days.

A primer of what to watch for can be found here.

Once we get set up in the media room, we’ll have some more updates to hold you over until Bill O’Brien has the floor at 2:15 p.m.

  • 11 a.m. — Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
  • 11:15 a.m. — Darrell Hazell, Purdue
  • 11:30 a.m. — Gary Andersen, Wisconsin
  • Noon — Tim Beckman, Illinois
  • 12:15 p.m. — Kevin Wilson, Indiana
  • 12:30 p.m. — Brady Hoke, Michigan
  • 1 p.m. — Bo Pelini, Nebraska
  • 1:15 p.m. — Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
  • 1:30 p.m. — Urban Meyer, Ohio State
  • 2 p.m. — Jerry Kill, Minnesota
  • 2:15 p.m. — Bill O’Brien, Penn State
  • 2:30 p.m. — Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
  • 2:45 p.m. — Big Ten Network president Mark Silverman
  • 3 p.m. — Tournament of Roses president Scott Jenkins
  • 3:15 p.m. — Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany

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Greetings from the Windy City where the 2013 version of Big Ten Media Days is set to take place inside the walls of the Hilton Chicago hotel over the next two days.

As the event unfolds, this page will be constantly updated to bring you the most comprehensive Media Days coverage including quotes from coaches press conferences, player interviews, pictures, tweets, and recap articles.

The live blog will be maintained by Drew Balis (@drewBbalis). Frequent updates will also be provided on Twitter (@OnwardState) and (@StateCollegecom).

This year’s event will be a bit different for the Penn State contingent compared to last summer. Bill O’Brien and a trio of players arrived only a few days after the NCAA placed the football program under severe sanctions, and the spotlight shined bright on the Nittany Lions during media availability highlighted by former linebacker Michael Mauti calling out NCAA president Mark Emmert. It will certainly be a calmer atmosphere this time around, but there is still no shortage of story lines as things relate to Penn State and conference wide.

Penn State is one of several Big Ten schools expected to have a quarterback battle when training camp gets underway in a few weeks. The Nittany Lions also have a new defensive coordinator in John Butler and are looking to replace several senior leaders on both sides of the ball.

As for the rest of the conference, Purdue’s Darrell Hazell and Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen are the new coaches on the block after leading Kent State and Utah State respectively to 11-win seasons in 2012.

Fresh off a 12-0 season, Urban Meyer and Ohio State are bowl eligible and looking to end the SEC’s run of seven consecutive national championships. The Buckeyes’ week is off to a rough start though. Starting running back Carlos Hyde was suspended indefinitely by Meyer after being named a person of interest regarding an assault against a woman at a downtown Columbus bar. Star cornerback Bradley Roby, who was originally supposed to attend Media Days, was arrested and faces charges of battery.

Off the field, much has changed in the Big Ten landscape since last summer. Maryland and Rutgers are set to join the conference in 2014, and eight-game conference schedules will soon give way to nine beginning in 2016. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany will be in Chicago to talk about all of that and more.

A trio of seniors are making the trip with O’Brien: Linebacker Glenn Carson, safety Malcolm Willis, and right guard John Urschel. Urschel, the 4.0 mathematics student, will also speak on behalf of all the players during a Thursday luncheon.

Below is a list of player attendees from the 11 other conference schools.

Illinois: Defensive lineman Tim Kynard, Tackle Corey Lewis, Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase

Indiana: Wide receiver Kofi Hughes, Safety Greg Heban, Kicker Mitch Ewald

Ohio State: Quarterback Braxton Miller, Tackle Jack Mewhort, Safety Christian Bryant

Purdue: Cornerback Ricardo Allen, Defensive tackle Bruce Gaston, Tight end Gabe Holmes

Wisconsin: Running back James White, Wide receiver Jarred Abbrederis, Linebacker Chris Borland

Iowa: Tackle Brett Van Sloten, Linebacker Christian Kirksey, Linebacker James Morris

Michigan: Quarterback Devin Gardner, Safety Thomas Gordon, Tackle Taylor Lewan

Michigan State: Linebacker Max Bullough, Guard Blake Treadwell, Cornerback Darqueze Dennard

Minnesota: Defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman, Running back Donnell Kirkwood, Safety Brock Vereen

Nebraska: Quarterback Taylor Martinez, Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, Cornerback Ciante Evans

Northwestern: Quarterback Kain Colter, Running back Venric Mark, Defensive end Tyler Scott

Things get underway at 10 a.m. Central time (11 a.m. Eastern time) with coaches press conferences. Each coach is expected to speak for approximately 15 minutes followed by some player availability. Bill O’Brien’s time slot is set for 2:15 p.m. Eastern time after Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill and before Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz. Both Big Ten Network and ESPNU are expected to have live broadcasts throughout Wednesday’s session.

**While Chicago is in the central time zone, our time stamps will be directed to eastern time to avoid confusion.**

Photo By: ToledoBlade.com
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Drew is a senior marketing major. This fall, he will be covering Penn State Football for Onward State. He is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and loves THON and Domonic Brown.

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