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Football 'Crootin Roundup Cares More About The Rose Bowl Than You'd Think

Last week, I turned on CNN and saw something about NATO protests outside McCormick Place in Chicago. My first thought was, "Oh, that's where the Big Ten Football Media Days are." So I fired off a joke on Twitter that there would be similar protests in a few months when the Big Ten gave up the Rose Bowl for the future playoff. MSU OL commit Caleb Benenoch read my tweet and thought the Big Ten actually did give it up. Despite being from Texas, the Rose Bowl apparently remains a big deal to recruits, which surprised me.

The Rose Bowl has been portrayed by many in the media as something only old men in the Big Ten still enjoy. While we all agree the playoff is the right way to go, keeping the Rose Bowl in some form still matters to a wide variety of people, including players.

Speaking of Benenoch, he received an offer from TCU this week, and Alabama, Stanford and Oklahoma could be next, per 24/7. (Insert same thing I say every week about his commitment).

JUCO D-tackle has MSU offer, family ties to program (Rivals) - There is another Peko. MSU is one of five BCS schools to have offered Cerritos College defensive tackle Kyle Peko. If that name sounds familiar, his cousins Tupe and Domata played at MSU and found success in the NFL. If Cerritos College sounds familiar, it's where Fou Fonoti played before coming to MSU. Kyle Peko and Fonoti are still close friends. MSU needs interior defensive linemen, and Peko's phyiscal maturity would be a major help.

"(MSU DL coach Ted Gill) said, 'I am looking for a guy to play next year and we think that you can be that guy,'" said Peko, recalling feedback from the Spartan assistant. "He said that they really like my film and the way I cause havoc up front."

Peko said he's going to take things slow, knowing he doesn't have to make a decision for a while. Kansas State, BYU and Tennessee are other notable teams to offer him. Since we're talking about Pekos...

Four-star Massachusetts defensive tackle Maurice Hurst Jr. has been raving about Pat Narduzzi, and now he will be visiting East Lansing.

Michigan QB commit Shane Morris has been recruiting other players to Ann Arbor, including Hurst. U-M and Virginia are two schools also at the top of Hurst's list. MSU has an opportunity to make a big impression when he comes to town.

DE target talks second Spartan visit (24/7) - Three-star Wisconsin defensive end Alec James has been one of the top targets for MSU in the 2013 class. He has offers from Wisconsin, Notre Dame, and Clemson, among others, but MSU and Wisconsin appear to be the top two. The headline is a little misleading, as the only update is that James is planning on visiting MSU again this summer. Also, he runs track at his high school.

MSU again in pursuit of Biegel (24/7) - I keep reading this as "Bagel" and it's making me hungry. Three-star Wisconsin offensive lineman Hayden Biegel received an MSU offer earlier this week. His brother, middle linebacker Vince, chose Wisconsin over MSU and other schools in the 2012 class. Hayden grew up a Badger fan, but knows a lot about MSU after the teams' two thrilling games last year. He plans to visit in the summer and wouldn't say the Badgers are in the lead for him.

Operation South Dakota? (24/7) - MSU finally offered three-star South Dakota athlete Nathan Gerry on Tuesday. Gerry says he likes to hit, but also is one of the top high school sprinters in the state. He has offers from Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and some Dakota schools. Gerry could play receiver or a few positions on defense.

Allen looking to grab Spartan offer (Rivals) - Unranked Detroit safety Mycial Allen has quite a few MAC offers, but MSU has been keeping a close eye on him. MSU has invited him to a camp and actually wants him to play wide receiver. His stock has been on the rise, and considering MSU is very careful will skill position offers, the Spartans are trying to see if Allen could be another diamond in the rough.

New Spartan offer excites Ohioan (24/7) - Three-star Ohio defensive back Godwin Igwebuike was visited and offered by Mike Tressel earlier this week. Igwebuike has 22 offers from a wide variety of schools. He plans to decide before his senior season. MSU is only taking a couple defensive backs in the 2013 class, but continues to offer more. It may get to to the point where whoever commits first get the spots, but MSU also needs some backup plans if some of the higher-rated guys go elsewhere.

Miller adds UK (Scout) - Three-star Toledo lineman Matt Miller recently added Kentucky to his list of offers, which includes MSU. Miller said being in the SEC makes Kentucky interesting. He's planning Big Ten visits in June.

Texas Tech commit to visit MSU? (24/7) - Despite committing to Texas Tech in February, three-star Texas cornerback Tavares Garner picked up offer No. 17 from MSU this week. Garner considers himself a "soft verbal" commit to Texas Tech and said he "more than likely" will visit MSU in July. MSU's inroads in Texas continue to get better.

"I was surprised because that's a great program," Garner said, "and I would love to be a part of it."

Thomas has 'killer's mentality' (24/7) - Three-star Detroit Country Day lineman Poet Thomas still has a strange offer list (Florida, Colorado, Eastern Michigan), but continues to get looked at by the in-state schools. MSU is looking at Thomas as a left tackle and could get an offer at a camp.

Spartans join chase for Ferns (Scout) - Looking ahead to 2014, Ohio linebacker Michael Ferns picked up another high-profile offer, this one from MSU. He already has offers from Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan. Ferns plans to take a visit to MSU and U-M in June. He admitted his was surprised MSU offered so early, and a quality visit could help MSU get a leg up.

Top soph. RB hearing from Spartans (24/7) - 2014 Minnesota running back Jeff Jones picked up his second offer when Brad Salem stopped by Jones' school Monday. His other offer is from Minnesota. Salem being from Minnesota helped Jones feel comfortable with the Spartan coach. He will attend the Sound Mind Sound Body camp in Detroit in June and plans on stopping by MSU. 24/7 currently has Jones as the No. 7 running back in the 2014 class.

Four-star LB gets the call (24/7) - Illinois linebacker Clifton Garrett got a phone call from Mark Dantonio and received an offer from MSU. 24/7 currently has Garrett as the No. 1 prospect in Illinois for 2014 and No. 2 outside linebacker in the nation. He plans on camping at Ohio State and Wisconsin this summer, and hopes to visit MSU. Scout has a video interview with Garrett.