2017 Big Ten Recruiting & National Signing Day Class Rankings

2017 Big Ten Recruiting & National Signing Day Class Rankings

Wisconsin

2017 Big Ten Recruiting & National Signing Day Class Rankings

2017 Big Ten Recruiting & National Signing Day Class Rankings


How did the Big Ten teams stack up with their respective recruiting classes? Who had the strongest-looking haul of talent, and who struggled a bit?


2017 Big Ten All-Recruiting Team
2017 Big Ten Schedule Analysis

2017 Big Ten Recruiting Class Rankings

Recruiting class rankings mean next to nothing sometimes.

Just ask Wisconsin.

Of course it helps when you get the superstar of superstar recruits like Michigan and Ohio State seem to do now on a regular basis, but Iowa has been more than okay without the big-star talents. Northwestern has been able to get by lately recruiting smart guys, Minnesota has been relevant with no home recruiting base, and Penn State just won the Big Ten title after recruiting problems and nightmares several years ago.

So with a mix of NFL-potential for some teams, and successful recruit-to-a-type programs, how does the 2017 Recruiting season stack up for the Big Ten?

Here’s how this is all figured out.

1) Bulk. Recruiting is a contact sport. Getting two five-star guys might be nice, but as history has proven, getting eight four-star players is probably better. The more good prospects, the more chances that a few of them can play.

2) Superstars. Okay, talent matters, too. Who got the most really, really good guys that everyone else wanted?

3) Who loaded up in key areas for what the program needs? Again, chances are that the more prospects you sign, the more opportunities will be there to find real players. So, in general, the big classes are going to get ranked a lot higher than the smaller ones, especially if the prospects fit the team’s profile.

Trying to get these as close as possible – but with a decent margin for error …

14. Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue might just be the toughest place in the Big Ten to recruit. It’s even tougher when you have no time to do it. However, new head coach Jeff Brohm brought in some interestingly-named quarterback prospects to run his high-powered attack, with Nicholas Sipe and Griffin Alstott the future of the O. Quarterbacks, lots of receivers, lots of offensive linemen – Brohm is gearing it up.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

13. Indiana Hoosiers

Head coach Tom Allen was able to keep two of Kevin Wilson’s key commitments – Derrius Mullins, LeShaun Minor and Juan Harris – for the defensive interior, and cranked it up with some great defensive end prospects as well. This class was about just getting the bodies in and settling the program down a bit before cranking it up for next year. This year was about the D, 2018’s class will bring the O.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

12. Iowa Hawkeyes

This is always a more-with-less type of a program, but it might have come up with a few gems for the defensive side. Coming off last year’s massive class, Iowa didn’t need too much beefing up. However, it was able to land one of the league’s best defensive end recruits in A.J. Epenesa, and came up with a tremendous haul of options for the defensive backfield.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

11. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Chris Ash did a really, really nice job locking down a few of the area’s best recruits. He said from the start that he had to own New Jersey, and he made a great push landing offensive tackle Micah Clark and wide receiver Bo Melton. Picking up LB Tyshon Fogg, a whole slew of strong local offensive linemen, and improving the defensive ends helped in what should be a good base to build off of.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

10. Illinois Fighting Illini

Is Lovie Smith really ready to rock the recruiting world? Sort of. He crushed it with a few fantastic wide receivers landing Carmoni Green out of Miami and Ricky Smalling from Chicago, but he and his staff did some of the best work on the offensive line and at defensive end. There’s just enough star power to go along with the bulk to make this a decent first go-round.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

9. Northwestern Wildcats

Forget about getting the five-star talents – who fits the profile? Pat Fitzgerald was able to land a slew of dangerous defensive ends who should be terrors once they get a little time to beef up, but the secondary gets the bulk talent. Having to go national for players, two DBs are from Georgia, two are from Texas in one of the program’s most interesting classes in a while.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

8. Wisconsin Badgers

It’s a push to call this a disappointing haul for a program that almost never does anything too splashy on signing day, but there’s little wow factor. It doesn’t matter – you know how the Badgers work with the talent they get. Before getting too down, though, the desperately-needed receiver was signed on late in Danny Davis – he’s a real, live, No. 1 target. Jonathan Taylor could be yet another New Jersey running back who owns the rushing statistical charts, while the offensive line combination of Kayden Lyles and Logan Bruss fit the type. Watch out for DE Andrew Van Ginkel in a few years.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

7. Minnesota Golden Gophers

All things considered, P.J. Fleck did an amazing job in the short time he had to work. The secondary got several good prospects, while the offensive line got special attention. The real key will be the guys for the passing game, with three quarterbacks coming aboard relatively late in the process, and three good tight ends who already have the right frames and skills to look the part.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

6. Nebraska Cornhuskers

One of the better Nebraska classes in a while, it came up with a potential deadly pitch-catch combination in QB Tristan Gebbia and WR Tyron Lindsey. That’s not it, though, with Keyshawn Johnson Jr. and a few other good receiving prospects coming in to add more flash to the attack. While the offense got more options, the defense wasn’t ignored with DE Guy Thomas out of Miami and LB Avery Roberts out of Delaware two future mainstays.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

5. Michigan State Spartans

Considering what head coach Mark Dantonio does with the players he brings in, this is a nice class with just a bit more talent than usual. The passing game gets a ton of help with Hunter Rison – Andre’s son – and Cody White along with TE Matt Dotson, while there’s no question what the goal is on the defensive side. This is a class to get to the quarterback, with speedy linebacker Antjuan Simmons and a host of dangerous defensive ends coming in.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

4. Maryland Terrapins

D.J. Durkin needed a year to settle in, and then … kaboom. He nailed it in Maryland/D.C., keeping around RB Anthony McFarland, QB Kasim Hill, and a whole host of local guys who normally would’ve been picked off by one of the bigger boys. Along with a big class of defensive ends, the Terps are going hard after the defensive backfield with Deon Jones and Marquese Bell the headliners of a fantastic group.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

3. Penn State Nittany Lions

Just imagine what James Franklin does next year when the Big Ten championship really matters on the recruiting trail. CB Lamont Wade was one of the best recruits by anyone in the Big Ten, but he’s not alone in a phenomenal class of defensive backs. There’s a nice mix of big-time prospects for specific spots – like QB Sean Clifford and DT Fred Hansard – to go along with the strength-in-bulk positions like receiver.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

2. Michigan Wolverines

Ohio State got more of the high-end players who’d get into any club, but Michigan got more of the prospects who are just outside the door, to go along with a few who’d be invited to any party. Donovan Peoples-Jones is one of the best receiving prospects in the country, Jordan Anthony will eventually be the team’s leading tackler, and go right on down the line and Jim Harbaugh probably has at least two special prospects for a position. No team should have this many good options for a defensive front seven, but the O line didn’t get short-changed.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

1. Ohio State Buckeyes

There isn’t the bulk like there is in several other top classes, but when it comes to taking on guys who’ll end up playing on Sundays, few do it better. WR Trevon Grimes, LB Baron Browning, JUCO transfer CB Kendall Sheffield and OG Wyatt Davis are just a few of the names you need to start getting used to, while Tate Martell has the skill and talent to be the next great Ohio State quarterback. The Buckeyes have roughly 15 players who’d be the crown jewel in just about any other school’s recruiting class.
2017 Recruiting Class Breakdown
2016 Recruiting Class Breakdown

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