Big Ten College Football Recruiting: Team Rankings, Top Players, Biggest Strengths, What's Missing

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten College Football Recruiting: Team Rankings, Top Players, Biggest Strengths, What's Missing

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Big Ten College Football Recruiting: Team Rankings, Top Players, Biggest Strengths, What's Missing

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Big Ten East Recruiting Strengths

Indiana Hoosiers

Wide Receivers
The skill spots got a whole lot of love, but the stars are for the receiving corps including TE Aaron Steinfeldt to be a part of the offensive fun. QB Donaven McCulley is the future of the passing game, and he has got his targets to grow with.

Maryland Terrapins

Tight Ends
And linebacker. Mike Locksley nailed it for the defensive side with a potentially loaded group of hybrid linebackers coming in, but the area of focus was at tight end with four combining in starting with CJ Dippre and Weston Wolff for the deep class.

Michigan Wolverines

Defensive Linemen
Yeah, quarterback has been a problem, and it’s been a bit spotty at other positions, but Michigan has its share of NFL prospects from the defensive line under Jim Harbaugh. It translated with a big group of defensive ends around a possible anchor of a tackle in Rayshaun Benny.

Michigan State Spartans

Offensive Linemen
It’s a Mel Tucker team so the defense will get its guys, but the offensive line is the main area with the JUCO ranks being hit to go along with enough young parts to build around.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Defensive Backs
The stronger talents might be at wide receiver, but when you’re a factory for NFL defensive backs, you tend to get a whole lot of interest on a national scale. The Buckeyes signed five DBs from five different states – none from Ohio.

Penn State Nittany Lions

Defensive Backs
It’s a smallish overall class for the Nittany Lions, but the defensive backs coming in are talented with four signing on – starting with corner Jalen King – who should play a big role early on the depth chart.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Defensive Ends
The Scarlet Knights were fantastic at getting into the backfield in Greg Schiano’s first year at the helm. Now he’s getting the pass rushers to do even more with four hybrid outside linebacker/ends with a whole lot of speed.


Big Ten West Recruiting Strengths

Illinois Fighting Illini

Defensive Backs
Apparently, Illinois is looking to start stopping other teams from throwing the ball with relative ease. There will be jobs available right away among the five defensive backs coming in. There isn’t one signature star, but it’s a big group that can move.

Iowa Hawkeyes

Offensive Linemen
The Hawkeyes build up their linemen into stars, and they have their share of prospects to work with with five coming in including a few good relatively local talents. None of them will likely be ready right out of the box, but the foundation for the near future is in this class.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Defensive Linemen 
There aren’t a ton of them – four D linemen were signed on so far – but that’s a lot compared to what most of the Big Ten brought in, especially for the defensive front. There’s good size, a few okay-looking tackles, and a potential versatile pass rushing threat in Deven Eastern.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Linebackers
Wide receiver is a close second, but the linebacking corps gets the most help with a national class full of athletes. If the idea is to ramp up speed for the defense and to create a group to work the D around, Scott Frost might have just done it.

Northwestern Wildcats

Wide Receivers
The Wildcats are getting a few pass catchers. Jordan Mosley is the best of the bunch, and TE Lawson Albright is a good signing among the group that all is around the same size with a whole lot of quickness.

Purdue Boilermakers

Offensive Linemen
There aren’t a ton coming in, but the ones who are fit what the program likes to do. These aren’t massive people-movers, but there are good athletes – mostly local – who can pass block and do what’s needed to keep the attack rolling.

Wisconsin Badgers

Offensive Linemen
Only a few signed on, but they’re really, really good. Nolan Rucci could’ve gone anywhere, and Riley Mahlman and JP Bezschawel could’ve landed anywhere in the Big Ten. It’s Wisconsin, so these three need a little bit to grow into killers, but talent-wise, here’s your foundation for the future.

What’s Missing From Each Recruiting Class
2021 All-Big Ten Recruiting Team

NEXT: What’s Missing From Each Team’s Recruiting Class

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