The Big Ten will be represented abundantly by Whitmer next football season.
Mark Meyers and LeRoy Alexander made sure of that this weekend when they verbally committed to two of the premier programs in the conference, becoming Whitmer's second and third Big Ten pledges in the 2012 senior class. Meyers, a defensive back, rescinded his verbal commitment to Toledo and intends to sign a letter of intent with Michigan State. Alexander will transition to Nebraska, where the coaching staff expects to use him at receiver or defensive back.
The two of them will join classmate Chris Wormley (Michigan) on a Big Ten campus in the fall. Another Whitmer alumnus, Kenny Hayes, recently finished his first season at Ohio State.
In total, five seniors from Whitmer's state semifinal team are expected to sign letters of intent with Division I programs on Feb. 1 -- the first day the NCAA allows senior prospects to do so. Joining the Big Ten threesome are Toledo commits Storm Norton, an offensive lineman, and running back Jody Webb.
"This senior class is really special," said Alexander, who played one season at the school. "We really worked hard to deserve what we got. The senior class really amazed me."
At Nebraska, Alexander will reunite with graduate assistant coach Vince Marrow, who was Alexander's high school coach at Springfield, as well as former Blue Devils teammate Kevin Williams.
A three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Alexander committed to the Cornhuskers during a visit to the Lincoln, Neb., campus last weekend. Toledo is the only other school to offer Alexander a scholarship, but Michigan State, according to Meyers, was expected to do the same.
"The coaching staff [at Nebraska] is really about you as a person, more than just football," Alexander said. "They're looking toward the long run in your life. Also, the facilities there were great. The town is nice, and everyone there is polite. It sort of felt like home to me."
Toledo is home to Meyers, but the allure of playing in the Big Ten enticed him to backpedal from the Rockets and join Legends division champion MSU. Meyers had committed to UT in December, a couple of days before coach Tim Beckman left for Illinois. He said he has canceled a previously scheduled visit to Illinois for next weekend.
"I came here [to MSU] and met with the academic people, and they said I'll get all of the academic help I need," Meyers said. "And it's an opportunity to play in the Big Ten."
Meyers, a three-star recruit, overcame academic issues and has been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse, he said.
In Meyers, UT loses a headliner to a class recruiting insiders are touting as one of the best in the Mid-American Conference. Meyers said Rockets coach Matt Campbell was understanding of his decision to nullify his commitment.
"He's a great coach," Meyers said. "He did great things, and he's been very good to me. But I told him I had a great opportunity to go play in the Big Ten."
Contact Ryan Autullo at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6160 or on Twitter @RyanAutullo.
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