July 30, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) One of the top players in Wisconsin's recruiting class is heading to Big Ten West rival Nebraska.

Running back Jordan Stevenson from Dallas signed with the Badgers in February, but was denied admission to Wisconsin last week because of academic eligibility requirements.

Stevenson, a four-star rated recruit, was courted by Miami, Alabama and Nebraska. He posted on Twitter on Thursday that he was going to play for the Cornhuskers.

''There's a big part of me that's happy he landed at a good place,'' Badgers coach Paul Chryst said. ''And there's another part of me. I know how good of a player he is, so that's going to present challenges.''

The Badgers play the Cornhuskers on Oct. 10 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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KICKING IT

When Australian Brad Craddock first put on football equipment at Maryland in 2012, he didn't have a clue what went where.

But he sure knew how to kick a football.

The senior placekicker, brought in as a punter after Maryland coach Randy Edsall liked what he saw on video, added placekicking duties to his repertoire and became the Terrapins' first Lou Groza Ward winner in 2014 as the nation's top kicker after hitting 18-of-19 field goal attempts in 2014.

''I had some experience with a punter (Adam Coles) from Australia when I was at Connecticut,'' Edsall said. ''Because of who Brad is and what is his makeup and what he's all about, he made it work for us.''

The Maryland senior - who boasts experience in soccer and Australian Rules Football at home - is back on this year's Groza watch list and a sprinkling of preseason All-American teams heading into his final college season.

He's hit 49-of-60 career field goal attempts - including a career-long 57-yarder against Ohio State last season. He's also connected on 104-of-107 extra point tries.

Craddock, seeking a good academic school as well as a football home, sent video to all NCAA Division I schools. Only Maryland bit.

''They were willing to take a risk on me, so I was willing to take a risk on them,'' he said.

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SPARTANS RIDING A WAVE

Michigan State returns 15 starters, a Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback and arguably the best offensive and defensive lines since Mark D'Antonio arrived.

But the Spartans always seemed to be at least a little overlooked.

''Since I have been at MSU, it always has been like that,'' center Jack Allen said. ''We get brushed under the rug and forgotten. It is normal, underdogs, no one really believes in us. It isn't much of different feeling.''

Michigan State won the Big Ten two seasons ago, lost only to the two teams that played for the national championship (Ohio State and Oregon) last year and has won the Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl the past two seasons.

The Spartans haven't been totally forgotten this season. They were ranked No. 6 in the preseason coaches' poll that came out Thursday.

Meanwhile, quarterback Connor Cook, who engineered three scoring drives over the final 12 minutes to pull out a 42-41 win against Baylor in the Cotton Bowl, is getting some summer Heisman Trophy hype.

''I think he's come back with the idea that there are things left to prove,'' D'Antonio said. ''And he's going to continue to take his game to a higher level. And that's exciting because I think that the makeup of our football team in general is keep trying to strive forward.

''So, high expectations from our staff and from the general public,'' he added. ''Very high expectations.''

Shilique Calhoun headlines the Spartans' defense. Like Cook, he passed up the possibility of being an early round NFL draft pick to return to East Lansing.

''Are we being overlooked?'' Calhoun said. ''I don't know. I don't worry about that stuff. We are just working on ourselves, trying to get better each day. And Connor is the same way.''

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AFTER-PARTIES WOULD BE FUN, TOO

Indiana's fans rarely had a hard time holding their own in the conference when it came to tailgating.

But the games that followed?

Not so much.

Fifth-year coach Kevin Wilson hopes to change that.

''I'd like it to be better,'' he said. ''But at the same time, I think our fans have been through it enough that we need to get some more Ws. We've played exciting ball. We've got a great home schedule this year, first three at home - Ohio State, Rutgers, Iowa, Michigan. It's a very enticing slate if you're a fan.''

And even moreso if the Hoosiers managed to steal a few wins.

''We've done a lot, whether it be window dressing and all the things we do to make it more, quote, fan-friendly. But ... everyone wants to see you win,'' Wilson added, ''and we need to win football games.''

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