Recruiting is the name of the game. Michigan State found themselves at the top of the Big Ten this year, but now they have a target on their back. To keep the success coming they will have to recruit with the Big Ten powers. Let’s take a look at how the Big Ten faired in recruiting:
1. Ohio State: With Urban Meyer at the reigns, get used to Ohio State bringing in top recruiting classes. Since coming to the Big Ten Urban has made quite a splash in recruiting and quite an impression on the other coaches across the conference. As for the incoming class of 2014, look for Raekwon McMillan to make a big impact around the conference. He’s the 1 ranked inside linebacker in the country. On the offensive side of the ball look for 6’0” wide receiver Johnnie Dixon to make a major contribution this coming season. He is the 15 ranked wide receiver in the class. Overall, the Buckeyes are bringing in 23 total recruits, one 5 star recruit and fifteen 4 star recruits.
2. Michigan State: All the recent success has definitely helped Dantonio on the recruiting trail. Michigan State’s tough defensive looks to be getting better with the addition of 6’6” defensive end Malik McDowell. McDowell is the 2 ranked defensive end in the 2014 class. On the offensive side of the ball Michigan State looks to add another great running back to the tradition of great backs to come through the Spartan backfield. Madre London is the 17 ranked running back in the class of 2014, and looks to add a strong running game to go along with the highly talented defense of the Spartans. Overall, MSU brought in 22 recruits, one 5 star recruit and six 4 star recruits.
3. Michigan: Well, self proclaimed big brother looks to be behind again. The pressure is starting to build on the coaching staff of Michigan, and they are hoping this highly talented recruiting class can start turning things around on the field. The struggling defense looks to be getting better by adding the 1 ranked cornerback in the class, Jabrill Peppers. On the offensive side of the ball Michigan boasts the 9 ranked tight end of the class. Ian Bunting stands 6’7” tall, and looks to be a big target for the Michigan offense, no matter who is starting at quarterback. Overall, the class is bringing in 16 recruits, one 5 star recruit, and six 4 star recruits.
4. Maryland: 2014 is Maryland’s first year in the Big Ten, and they look to compete in a new conference with a highly talented recruiting class. Their top recruit comes in the trenches on the offensive side of the ball, Damian Prince is the 2 ranked offensive tackle in the class. On the defensive side of the ball they add the 10 ranked defensive end, Jesse Aniebonam. Overall, Maryland adds 17 recruits, one 5 star recruit and three 4 star recruits.
5. Penn State: The Nittany Lions look to be coming into a new era of winning. The 2014 class boasts 4 star QB Michael O’Connor. O’Connor stands 6’5” and is the 7 ranked QB in the class of 2014. The talented QB comes in with plenty of offensive help, including three 4 star wide receivers: Chris Godwin, ranked 21 nationally, Saeed Blacknall, ranked 32 nationally, and De’Andre Thompkins, ranked 40 nationally. Overall, Penn State brings in 25 recruits, six 4 star players.
6. Nebraska: The Cornhuskers have a well rounded recruiting class coming in. They bring in two 4 star linebackers: Tanner Farmer ranked 4 at the position, and Nick Gates ranked 24. On the offensive side of the ball they bring in wide receiver Monte Harrison, ranked 33 at the position. They also boast the 16 ranked running back of the class, Mikale Wilbon. Overall, Nebraska brings in 24 total recruits, four of which are ranked as 4 star players.
7. Wisconsin: The future of Wisconsin football could rest on the arm of D.J. Gillins, the tenth ranked, highly athletic quarterback. They also look to improve their always impressive offensive line with the second best player from Wisconsin, Jaden Gault, the 28 ranked offensive tackle in the country. Overall, Wisconsin brings in 26 newcomers, four 4 star recruits.
8. Northwestern: Northwestern got off to a great start last season and look to continue to improve in 2014. They have a very well rounded incoming class. Northwestern brings in two 4 star recruits on the defensive side of the ball: 19 ranked cornerback Parrker Westphal, and 18 ranked defensive end Garret Dickerson. Their recruiting success wasn’t limited to the defensive side of the ball; they also added some key offensive members: 14 ranked running back, Justin Jackson, and 6 ranked quarterback, Clayton Thorson. Overall, Northwestern brings in 15 recruits, four 4 star players.
9. Indiana: This highly talented offense looks to be improving over the offseason. Indiana brings in Indiana native Dominique Booth, the 48 ranked wide receiver in the class. The offense also brings in 4 star offensive guard Tim Gardner. Overall, Indiana brings in 26 recruits, two 4 star players.
10. Minnesota: Minnesota’s top newcomer is in state star running back Jeff Jones, ranked 7 at the position nationally. Minnesota brings in 20 recruits, one 4 star recruit.
11. Iowa: Iowa steals Michigan native Tyler Wiegers, the 14 ranked quarterback standing 6’4” tall. They also add highly athletic 4 star recruit Jay Scheel, the 3 best player from the state. Overall, the Hawkeyes bring in 19 new players, two 4 star recruits.
12. Purdue: Purdue is a former Big Ten power that has boasted some big time NFL players including Drew Brees, but for some reason their success has come to a dramatic halt. Their star recruit is in state defensive end Gelen Robinson, ranked 13 nationally at the position. Overall, Purdue brings in 18 new recruits, one 4 star recruit.
13. Illinois: Illinois has struggled in Big Ten play recently, and their 2014 recruiting class doesn’t seem to be the turnaround class Illinois fans are hoping for. Their new class has 17 recruits, but none of which are ranked higher than 3 stars.
14. Rutgers: In 2014 Rutgers comes to the Big Ten, it could be a tough transition for the team. They don’t look to be getting much help from their 2014 recruiting class which has no recruits ranked higher than 3 stars. Overall, they bring in 25 newcomers for 2014.
2014 looks to be another exciting year for Big Ten football with some very talented newcomers. MSU hopes to stay on top, and has a recruiting class coming that could be exactly what they need.