Blake Hance makes 10, and B1G 2014 schedule

Another day, another commitment.

The recruiting mojo from the last month or so continues to snowball. No, this is not another four-star prospect, but it is another strong addition to the recruiting class, one that will certainly warrant fanfare when his career at Northwestern is over.

Three-star offensive lineman Blake Hance announced his commitment to Northwestern on Thursday, only a day after telling Chris Johnson of Inside Northwestern that he was eagerly awaiting a Northwestern offer before making his decision. That offer came, and that decision was made very quickly:

Hance is a 6-foot-5 offensive lineman from Jacksonville, Ill. Hance is expected to play offensive tackle along with 2014 recruiting classmate Tommy Doles. He also can play tight end and is the 27th-ranked tight end in the nation according to Scout. Fans have already begun comparing him to Jack Konopka. Northwestern has picked up a ton of skill position players so far in this recruiting class and needed to add some offensive line depth to complete this class.

So Northwestern has 10 of its projected class of 15 all set. Hance will not be getting many of the headlines, but he will be a pretty big part of this team moving forward. Northwestern’s recruiting class has already gained early accolades and Hance only (excuse the pun) enhances that.

B1G releases 2014 schedule

In more 2014 news, Hance and his recruiting class know the Big Ten schedule they will face as freshman. The conference released the 2014 schedules, the first year that Rutgers and Maryland will join the conference. Northwestern will play at Penn State and home against Michigan in inter-divisional matchups in 2014.

NU will have to wait until at least 2015 to meet the Big Ten’s newest members out East.

Here is Northwestern’s 2014 schedule as we know it:

Date Team
Aug. 30 vs. California
Sep. 6 BYE
Sep. 13 OPEN
Sep. 20 vs. Western Illinois
Sep. 27 @ Penn State
Oct. 4 vs. Wisconsin
Oct. 11 @ Minnesota
Oct. 18 vs. Nebraska
Oct. 25 BYE
Nov. 1 @Iowa
Nov. 8 vs. Michigan
Nov. 15 @ Notre Dame
Nov. 22 @ Purdue
Nov. 29 vs. Illinois

There is your 2014 schedule. Should be an interesting slate as the Big Ten plays its first season with the expanded conference and begins transitioning to a nine-game conference schedule.

  • Scooter

    Welcome to Northwestern, Blake! We’re excited to have you!

  • Awesome news! Welcome Blake…we may have our class filled by Memorial Day at this rate. I can’t help but be giddy over the ’14 schedule..home dates with Wisky, Michigan (again), Nebraska and Illinois with one of the more manageable road schedules in years. No Ohio State, no return road game to Spartyville. I’ll take that trade considering no Indiana as well.

    • DT


      I’ve noticed your “Lake T. Posts” handle as of late.. Is this an attempt at “WiL I am” type branding perhaps or is dropping the “he” part of an intrepid battle against the Carpal Tunnel foe?

      • David

        True…that “. ” is much less taxing on the wrist than “he”

      • Nah…just the Disquis prompt sign-in has me as my Facebook account vs Twitter account handle. Too lazy to figure out how to fix it.

  • I realize that open dates on the schedule as it now stands can be filled with non-conference games, but how is it that NU, once again, gets the lion’s share of teams coming off of bye weeks?!? The ‘Cats have six, by my count, compared with five for Io_a, two for Nebraska, one each for Minnesota, Purdue, and Wisconsin, and zero for the Illini.

    • JimB7368

      big 10 limited the number i believe to 3

  • cece

    Welcome to NU, Blake! thanks for making your way north. see, colder weather can be a beautiful thing!

    • timc

      He’s from Jacksonville ILLINOIS:)

  • David

    Just a couple of thoughts for discussion.

    Remember when people like Bye Bye Fitz were calling for Fitz head as recently as he UM OT loss. His expert opinion has taken a credibility hit over the past couple of months.

    Even our house pessimist DT was calling for Fitz head. But…I have to also note that DT has long heralded the necessity of getting a bowl win…any bowl win.

    So…as of May 16th, I am wondering why is this success happening.
    -Is the the result of us winning a bowl game?
    -Is this the result of the new facilities announcement?
    -Would this have have been our best recruiting year ever even if we had not announced the facilities and had lost the bowl game? Perhaps…just not quite as good.

    • DT


      “House pessimist”, eh? I’ve been called worse here.. Anyway… In terms of calling for Fitz’ head, I think you might have me confused with say, Marie Antoinette who might be contributing here under any number of contrived handles seemingly… And if you think for one minute I’ve forgotten that last minute meltdown in Ann Arbor given the Kool Aid I was drinking along with everybody else per the Gator Bowl, you are sadly mistaken.. The good thing about that happening, was we got a date with Dan Mullen and not The Ole Ball Coach or Mark Richt and his crew.. As a result, we should all be happy “the streak” is over and we can pound our chest that it came against the SEC no less.. A mid range SEC foe, but SEC nonetheless on the New Year’s Day stage.. Fate worked in our favor… No complaints..

      In terms of your questions, I’ll respond to #1… If for one minute, anyone with a modicum of knowledge or objectivity related to NU Football feels the Gator Bowl victory did not have a positive effect on recruiting and position NU Football and Fitz himself in a more positive light, fails to get it.. While certainly not the only reason for the bump in recruiting talent, no doubt a major factor.. Ain’t it great!

      Now, lets get back to 96-96 levels of performance in The Big Ten and take the Purple Back To Pasadena.. Not Jacksonville..

      Wishing all a great summer! LTP- I’ll be doing some research that will have you interested in advance of Camp Kenosha.. Stay tuned..

      • Welcome back. Man, that bowl win changed your tune. Love having the glass half full DT. Now, let’s go get 90 more season tix and 350 more single game tix.

  • DCCats

    Screwed by the B1G! Despite 10K fans at Army (Thanks again LTP for Sailgate!), no East Coast visits til at least ’16 and an extra helping of Ohio State and Penn State.

    • DCCats

      oops, I meant Michigan

    • David

      I am actually glad to have a crack at PSU while the are relatively down.

    • willycat

      DC, are you sure that the 2015 schedule is a repeat of the 2014 one, with just the venues switched? I wondering if the crossover games might feature different opponents, as I to would also like to see Rutgers and Maryland as NU opponents sooner rather than later.

  • Ben

    How come our bye weeks are on relatively unnecessary weeks? Don’t we usually try to schedule them before tougher opponents such as (for this schedule) Michigan, ND, UNL, or Wisconsin?

    • Richard

      We don’t have any control over when the conference schedules bye weeks. The only thing we could do is move the 9/20 WIU to some other week to have a bye week before PSU, but is that really necessary?

    • wcgrad

      We also don’t want home games early in the season before students are back on campus. That’s why there’s almost always a road opener and then some time before the next game.

  • Richard

    Pretty awesome.

    For of our 5 of our 10 recruits, Fitz and company beat out kings like Texas, Michigan, Nebraska, & PSU.

    For another 3, NU beat out rivals/peers like Iowa, Illinois, & Vandy.

  • Al

    All we are saying is give Blake a Hance.

    • Mark

      Welcome aboard Blake! Glad you came at such an exciting time for Cat football and thanks for making it more exciting!

  • phatcat

    why are we stuck with having 157 opponents that have a bye-week before us – again?? Is this Phillips penance for getting good bowls?