National signing day is almost upon us, looming Wednesday with a flurry of fax machine bleeps, commitment flips and hat ceremonies for hours and hours until the dust settles and every recruit is in his right place.
There's still no shortage of drama left in the recruiting cycle, of course. Dozens of top recruits remain uncommitted, as ESPN.com points out, and dozens more down the totem pole are still contemplating their decisions.
And yet, for the Big Ten, it's going to be a relatively quiet Wednesday.
Most of the Big Ten recruiting classes were more or less done well in advance of national signing day, and if there's still movement to be made, it's likely not going to be among the top players. According to the above link, none of the few dozen of uncommitted ESPNU Top 300 recruits are projected to join the Big Ten. In fact, few are even considering Big Ten teams anymore; the vast majority of the players are in the southeast, where if the SEC comes calling, you answer.
So while there's drama surrounding whether Chicago, IL linebacker Reggie Spearman ends up at Illinois, Iowa or Syracuse, or whether Nebraska can woo cornerback Jacquille Veii from the likes of Maryland or Iowa, by and large it's a pretty quiet scene.
Michigan's got its class in place, and there's no indication it's going to pull a flip in the next 24 hours. Michigan State and Penn State don't look to be in serious contention for anyone else of any merit. Wisconsin's in on a couple of junior college players, according to 247Sports.com, but they're 3-stars and not locks for Madison.
But as is usually the case in Big Ten football recruiting, if there's one exception to be made, it's Ohio State. It's always Ohio State. And the Buckeyes still might have an eventful national signing day.
First off, it's not a guarantee that Ohio State adds anyone from its current recruiting class. As Eleven Warriors notes, Ohio State has 82 scholarships lined up for the 2013 season—right where the Buckeyes have to be, thanks to lingering penalties from their 2011 NCAA sanctions. So that should be that.
The thing of it is, Ohio State's still recruiting. It's a finalist for 5-star safety Vonn Bell (via Rivals), who's also considering Tennessee and Alabama. As near as anybody can tell, it's really down to Tennessee and Ohio State, and Rivals.com's Mike Farrell thinks there's even some shenanigans afoot there:
Mike Farrell @rivalsmike
I get the feeling Vonn Bell and fam r telling the #Vols and #Buckeyes he is going to each. Unless he can clone himself, someone gonna be mad2013-2-5 18:37:15
Per Eleven Warriors, Ohio State is also in the mix for WR James Clark, who's also considering Florida. Florida had also offered Ryan Timmons, but he selected Kentucky instead, so that may open the door for Clark to head to Gainesville. Or he may yet be a Buckeye.
Excitement! It's in Columbus...and basically only Columbus!